ALBUM REVIEW: Ryan Hamilton – Hell of a Day


WORDS: Laura McCarthy

As a magazine, we tend to lean towards the heavier side of the alternative music scene. However, now and again a gentler offering lands in our laps, to cleanse the pallet of angst and aggression. Lead singer of PEOPLE ON VACATION, RYAN HAMILTON provides such an offering with his debut solo album, Hell Of A Day.

Be Kind Rewind is like a trip into the dreams of a kid from the fifties. It’s so positive and bouncy you could almost taste to the pastel colours and the sunshine. Should any listeners be having a pretty poor day- you don’t want to get out of bed, it’s raining and you’re coffee is bad, pop this on and you should cheer up quite swiftly.

Kareoke with No Crowd feels like early 00’s, stripped down pop-punk. It’s sweet and fun, with enough appeal to bridge the divide between your teenage sister and yourself. Indulge yourself in something a little more mellow, as Four Letter Verb has attractive harmonies and a catchy melody.

In fact, there’s barely a song on Hell Of A Day that isn’t catchy. These are summer songs at their most friendly and welcoming. Medicin feels very much like a post-punk swing at the blues. A little whizz around the fret board for some tasty little riffs are satisfying and sprightly, and well played.

Take It On The Run has a softer, more classic southern rock feel. Tonally this record is consistent, but there is a diversity in styles of playing and lyrical range that is nice.

WEEZER would envious of the next number, as Respond to My Email tells the tale of modern day love troubles. It’s pretty funny stuff and still very easy to listen to. Comic, punky and relatable. What more could you want? I Love You A lot is most definitely for fans of NEVERSHOUTNEVER, as this track will strike some resonance with it’s a good fun and sunshine vibes. Records and Needles makes reference to some clear influences of this album, ROLLING STONES, THEBEATLES- maybe not in style, but more the nostalgia of the time these bands came from.

“If you only had the right clothes, if you only lost a few pounds, if you only had the right friends” are the opening lyrics to Freak Flag, and once again HAMILTON finds a catchy melody to tell a universal feeling of awkward youth. It’s an honest song that once again bares relatable lyrics- something similar to BOWLING FOR SOUP’S song Almost.

Love Is Such A Chore closes up the album with echoes of THE BICYCLES with yet more catchy, inoffensive guitars and chipper vocal performances. It sums the album-while there’s not much in the way of musical innovation, there is a huge amount of indie influence and a great affinity to connect to a pretty wide audience. For those more inclined towards a more aggressive, hard rock style, this album will fall short. However, those who want to sit and indulge in friendly, summertime tunes, where the positive vibes are rife and all the boxes for indie pop-rock are well and truly ticked off, then crank Hell Of A Day up and enjoy yourself.

Rating: 5/10

Hell Of A Day is set for release on August 24th