Ragged Hearts “The Champ”
We were first introduced to Ragged Hearts when we saw them mentioned by Bam, the legendary drummer from The Dog’s D’Amour. When we heard their sound described as a mix of Faces and Replacements, then we knew we had to give it a listen. Although, the truth is that they have far wider influences than that. However, with a flavour of power pop and old school rock n roll you can’t go too wrong in our book!
Many of their influences are combined on the brilliant opening track “Where I’m Livin'”. It’s a song with a Stones esque bar room feel, mixed up with a power pop sheen. When “Baby Doll” opens with a Shangri Las/Spector beginning, it has us hooked even before we get to the sweet melody. Things keep motoring on with the wonderful “Rumours” and “The Spirit Now” which are like Cheap Trick at their finest. The perfect mix of pop and rock.
Now and then you get the impression that Bam has indeed had an influence on the band. The country swing of “Yesterdays Child”, certainly has a Dogs D’Amour feel to it. As does “Firefly”, although with a far cleaner vocal than the drawl of Tyla, and a generally more refined sound. These songs, along with “Demolition” add a different tone to the album which is important.
On the whole though, this is all about great pop/rock songs. Hence, “Eye To Eye” opens with a Bowie esque sound and ends up as one of the catchiest songs you are ever likely to hear. Although, to be honest, there’s a whole host of songs, including “Moon Dog” and “Hip Part Of Town”, that are just destined to be stuck in your head forever. They have crunching guitars, delivering great melodies with catchy choruses..which is a real winning combination in our books.
“The Champ” is an excellent modern pop/rock album. The band take their range of influences and combine them to great effect. Too frequently, this style of music doesn’t attract the success or press it deserves. Maybe that’s because it’s not perceived as being ‘edgy’ or trendy enough. That may be true, but the fact is that it’s damn hard to write a song that blends pop and rock perfectly. Let’s not let Ragged Hearts disappear like other great bands such as Marvelous 3, The Crash Moderns or Everything Else. Instead, go out and buy this album, go to a show, buy a T-shirt etc, whatever it takes to give them the support and exposure they deserve.