Ryan Hamilton - 'Hell Of A Day' (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dave Prince   
Thursday, 13 August 2015 03:00

ryanhellcoverRyan Hamilton finally releases his first solo album and, taking its cue from his totally rocking duo People On Vacation (his equally awesome project with Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret Reddick) the ex-Smile Smile frontman releases what could possibly be the album of his life!


While Smile Smile were a very emotional entity, Ryan finally is able to highlight his fun yet melancholic side with this album. From the get'go with the positive message of 'Be Kind Rewind' - be good to one another - to the finale 'Love Is Such A Chore', 'Hell Of A Day' is one hell of an album.


Like every great '80s/'90s feelgood film Ryan has written a rollercoaster of an album. Unlike many new records this one entices you into the author's world and I felt like one of the character's that Ryan was singing about. His ability to write about life is what shines through and, for me, elevates this album to a shade of greatness previously unseen this year.


The power pop quirkiness of 'Be Kind Rewind' does remind me somewhat of his previous band but so much happier as I feel that Mr. Hamilton is riding the wave happiness in his personal life as well as in his music. The happiness of the line "We turn the rain into sunshine, in the night time" could've sounded so contrived but when you hear it - BAM - there's that smile on my face!


Again the pop song power that is 'Karaoke With No Crowd' is simply pop perfection! Okay, maybe not in a Fuzzbox/Spice Girls way but mature melodic pop - which is all about the unique song in each of us and being able to be happy with one's self!


'4 Letter Verb' evokes a Tom Petty-esque level of coolness about it; the breezy summer feel along with the razor sharp lyrics make this a great song that due to me having had this album for most of our summer, had me wishing I was able to drive with the windows down, with these cool musical vibes blasting from the stereo. Alas, it was not to be due to our crappy weather; that said, it didn't matter as the music shone so brightly it just didn't matter about the rain and the wind.


Whilst I am generally a fan of covers as B-sides rather than on albums, Ryan only goes and serves up an awesome rendition of the REO Speedwagon classic 'Take It On The Run' and proves me wrong. Not only is it faithful to its source material but fits like a glove here with his original material. I can only assume that on this basis the apprentice has indeed become the master of middle of the road pop rock.


The quiet hatred that underlines 'Respond To My Email' is more reminiscent of Bowling For Soup and the much missed Marvelous 3. Not so much the music but the lyrical content. All that in under 3 minutes is what I believe is the perfect pop song.


'I Love A Lot', 'Records and Needles', 'Freak Flag' and the aforementioned 'Love Is Such A Chore' round off a fantastic debut release. Just do yourselves a favour and sign up and get everything this man has ever released. The guy is so freakingly awesome and also scaringly true to the approved image lrg 2013most human of emotions, frightening me so much that I honestly believe the guy is watching me Truman Show-style and writing about it!




To pick up your copy of 'Hell of a Day' - CLICK HERE