Ryan Allen “The Last Rock Band”
If there is one person who is competing with Rich Ragany for the hardest working man in rock title, then it’s probably Ryan Allen. It is therefore somewhat fitting that his latest release is a rocking concept album/love letter to rock and roll. It provides him with an opportunity to not only display his influences but also his considerable talent as a songwriter and a musician (he plays all the instruments on the album).
It’s the title track “The Last Rock Band” that opens the album and it’s a song that delivers exactly what you would want from a Ryan Allen song. It’s a perfectly crafted slice of pop/rock, with a big melody that will stick in your head for days. It’s a ‘trick’ that he repeats on tracks like “Discovery” and “Wrong Place Wrong Time” which take his obvious power pop influences and gives them a bit of a kick to make them rock out.
The other great thing about this album is you get a sense that Ryan is having real fun on it. You can’t help but smile when you hear “Like The Ramones” which does exactly what it says on the tin. Whilst “Bought A Computer” is a hint of an appreciation for a more electronic sound.
The real thing that hits you about this album is the sheer quality of the songs. It means you get tracks like “Start A Band” and “Second Act” which seriously rival Cheap Trick in delivering pure pop rock songs. A particular mention must go to “Stop The Train”, a gorgeous song that is deceptively simple. It is the sort of track you hope will get picked up in a major movie soundtrack and make Ryan the household name he deserves to be.
In terms of the influences, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that “We Have Returned” has an almost Bowie, at his pop peak, feel to it. We then end up back at the modern power pop of “Because I Have To”, a song which probably sums up Ryan Allen, he is a man who lives for his music. His passion and his talent are clearly showcased in this latest release and it’s a reason why you really have to buy this album.