Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors “The Devils In The Detail”
Ryan Hamilton is the kind of artist who might not initially appear to be suitable for the UK market. After all, his style of upbeat and sunny pop/rock doesn’t sit well with our downbeat weather. Despite this, we’re proud to say that the UK has indeed taken Ryan to our heart. That’s probably down to two things, firstly that he has worked his arse off. Perhaps more importantly, he’s a really great songwriter.
Despite containing words of warning, first track “Smarter” is a brilliant, up beat, pop rocker. It somehow manages to seamlessly switch from pop punk to country whilst delivering some neat lyrics which are bound to bring a smile to your face. Indeed, when you check out songs like the excellent “We Never Should Have Moved To LA” or “Scottish Mud”, it’s impossible not to feel good.
This isn’t just a one dimensional pop punk album though. “Anywhere” references Tom Petty and, like his songs, has a wider pure pop feel to it. In fact, the mood gets almost sombre on the appropriately titled “Heavy Heart” and we’re back in country style for “Back In Time”.
However, a lot of these songs are great power pop numbers built with huge melodies. “The Gulf Of Mexico” has a big sound almost verging on Bowling For Soup territory (but without the comedy feel of many of their tracks). The pop volume is turned up for “Drugs and Fashion” which is as much fun as the title sounds! “Strength In Numbers” adds a teenage punk feel like the Dum Dums (a great but sadly long forgotten UK band from years ago…but well worth checking out!).
On this release, Ryan Hamilton isn’t just ‘churning out’ pop/rock songs like so many other poorer artists. Tracks like “Cheaters Never Change” and “Don’t Say I Told You So” are even more emotive and heartfelt than some of the other songs. They clearly show this is a man with real song writing ability.
That’s the point with this album, all the songs are just really well written. It’s easy to forget how hard it is to write a really great pop/rock song. This album is so good, it reminds us of Butch Walker. Given that he is one of our favourite artists of all time that is high praise. Ryan’s touring the UK this month so make sure you buy this album and get out and see him, you won’t be disappointed.