14 February 2018

Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors - Traitors Club Year 1 EP

Ryan Hamilton is an all-round legend in my books.  I recently conducted an interview with him for my radio show on NE1FM called Attention Please, and he was such a lovely chap.  But he's also a busy guy as well! He is currently getting ready for another UK tour, writing an album with Tony Wright from Terrorvision, whilst also working on a new album with The Traitors.  The fact he never sleeps might help as well, but I digress a little.  This review is all about the latest EP from Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors called Traitor Club Year 1, a compilation of select tracks from songs which were sent out to the Traitor Club in 2017.  The Traitor Club is the name for fans of Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors (don’t call it a Fanclub, he hates that title), and each month members receive two new tracks.  So, after the first year, they've decided to release a few of these tracks as an EP for the great unwashed, a sampler to show what great stuff is happening at the Traitor Club.  So, how do the songs sound?

01 – I’m So Glad

“I’m So Glad” is a song about the first love of your life, the heartache of that relationship ending and how it somehow turned out for the best for everyone.  This is a timeless tale, one which has been re-told many times and will be again.  But I doubt it’ll be done with as much charm and style as this one, as this is a beautiful song.  Yes, the subject might be a little painful in places, but there is also the joy of seeing your former lover happy.  The music is fantastic, the words are heartfelt and it all comes together in under three minutes, what is there not to love?

02 – The Ghost of James Dean

“The Ghost of James Dean” is a heavier song, different to "I'm So Glad" but with an equally important message.  The message of "The Ghost of James Dean" is about living for the moment, taking chances as they come. Dreams are meant to be followed, goals are meant to be reached for and can be achieved.  It’s a bouncy rock number, one which gets better with each spin, cementing itself in your mind for hours after its finished.

03 – Brand New Man

“Brand New Man” is a glam- rock influenced number, which focuses on the end of a relationship which is no longer fit for purpose. Sometimes, you need to make the break for everyone concerned, which can be hard, but it’s also for the best.  The music is the winner on this song, the main riff of the verses just keeps on giving so much joy that it should come with a health warning!

04 – Same Page

“Same Page” is a song about trying to figure out what is happening in a relationship, questioning if everything is going ok and how things can fall apart without people realising.  It’s another hard rock song with a massive sing-along chorus, one that will be sung at the end of the night with a whiskey in the air, and it’ll be a source of comfort for those going through a similar situation.

05 – Sick and Tired

“Sick and Tired” is the sound of a relationship that has ended, when someone’s lies have been exposed and everyone has discovered the truth.  It has a classic rock sound at its heart, a fist-pumping appeal that will make fans of Cheap Trick and The Wildhearts jump for joy.  I love the music here, it just stays with you long after it’s finished, which is a running theme of this EP.

06 – Stranger Across the Street

“Stranger Across the Street” is just over one minute, thirty seconds long and it’s the fastest song on the album.  It’s a crash course in love from afar, with the object of your desire being within reach, but still just a fantasy.  It’s a short, sharp, wham-bam of a track, one that has hints of Social Distortion about it and it’s another which sound fantastic!

07 – Say My Name

“Say My Name” is not a cover of the Destiny’s Child song, but a song about sex – lots of sex with a lover who is so good for you that it makes you feel bad. As well as it's played, it not for me if I'm honest, but that is just for my tastes.  Musically, it’s a little stomper at the end of this EP which is a perfect way to end this EP.

As an advertisement for the Traitor Club, this EP is a brilliant release.  As an advertisement for Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors, this EP is a perfect stop-gap release before their next album, as well as being a fantastic release.  It shows perfectly what they're all about, with seven hard-rocking tracks.  These songs sound as good after twenty listens, as they did the first time I heard them.  I would recommend listening to this EP as soon as it’s release, also heading to see RH&TT when they tour near you, it’ll be a night you won’t forget!

5 out of five – I wish I had extra ears to love this more

Top track – I’m So Glad

At the time of writing, Traitors Club Year 1 EP is not available on streaming sites.

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