Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors - 'The Devil's In The Detail'

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Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors - 'The Devil's In The Detail'

They might just have the album of the year on their hands.

You may have encountered Ryan Hamilton on the radio. You might even have seen him opening for Ginger Wildheart or on a triumphant UK headline tour. For the Texan who had mainstream success in the US with his first band Smile Smile, kept the wagon rolling with Jaret Reddick (Bowling For Soup) in People On Vacation, before hitting the highway under his own name with 'Hell Of A Day', is not only getting regular air time once more but also working his arse off on tour. This time around he's made his band official, the devastatingly good 'The Devil's In The Detail' arriving from not just Hamilton but also The Traitors, Rob Lane and Mickey Richards. It would be remiss of me not to mention in neon flashing, day-glow bashing lights that Wildheart also plays guitar on this album, and yet it would be a bigger dereliction of duty not to highlight that his inclusion gives little hint of the sound you can expect to find.

'Heavy Heart' is where you may have heard this band on the radio, the slow heartfelt number a hair-raiser for all the right reasons, as one of many lyrics that come right from Hamilton's soul hits home; the melody and harmony vocals located somewhere nearer heaven. However, don't think that this album is all serious introspection and no fun.

The Power Pop punch of 'Smarter' reminding us that every record should open with an upbeat smack of melody as Hamilton's vocals hit as though Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon swallowed Tom Petty and hollered out the results. 'We Never Should Have Moved To LA' then strides bold and rich on Wildheart's chord strikes as the sort of infectious beat that could get a whole town isolated for fear of a nationwide outbreak of ear to ear grin-itise carries it all along.

With 'Anywhere', 'Scottish Mud', 'Cheaters Never Change' and 'Strength In Numbers', Ryan and his Traitors play their trump card. Are they Rock, are they Pop, or are they Country? The correct answer being, who cares? What matters is that they're mighty fine at whatever they turn their hand to. If they aren't careful, they might just have the album of the year on their hands.

Steven Reid

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