Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms “Basement Punk”
Having already released two brilliant albums, we are delighted to see Ryan back so soon with a new release. It is also encouraging to hear that his aim is still to deliver some fuzzy jangle-pop to keep us all entertained.
Given the album’s title, it’s perhaps not surprising that opener “Watch Me Explode” begins with some feedback and also has a spiky punk feel to it. Although, to be fair, the emphasis on this and other punkier songs such as “Basement Punks” is still very much on melody. It’s a classic power pop sound but just with an extra little kick… which is perfect in our eyes.
Ryan is equally at home delivering a pure pop number like “Chasing A Song”. It’s a quite exquisite song which is instantly appealing. Along with tracks like “Mal N’ Ange”, they provide a perfect accompaniment to a sunny, summer’s day.
Importantly though, Ryan ensures that things never become overly saccharine. A song like “Alex Whiz” has a more downbeat tone and with its hazier, almost psychedelic, sound, it has a feel that reminds us of Jellyfish. Then “Gimme Some More” has a bit of a snarl to it and tells the frustration of how it is not always the right bands get the attention they deserve. A similar message is delivered in “Two Steps Behind”, although, there’s no sense of bitterness to the song and is one of the best songs on the album with its upbeat, perky, punk pop sound.
We’re back to a more laid back and sunny style on “Gorgeous With Guitars”, a song where the title really does the review for us. The garage punk sound is then turned up again with The Replacements’ esque “Without A Doubt”. The album then draws to a conclusion with the perfect power pop of “Everything (In Moderation)”.
Whilst everything in moderation may be a decent enough concept, it’s certainly not true for the music of Ryan Allen. We’re still hungry for a lot more! However, maybe that’s the secret to this album, the focus is on just delivering great power pop songs with a smattering of punk rock edginess. The songs create the perfect blend of melody with a bit of attitude.