Album review – RAGDOLL “Ragdoll Rewound”

Ragdoll-RagdollRewoundAustralian band Ragdoll has found its own musical sweet spot, somewhere at the intersection of hard rock, classic rock and prog rock. Splicing together strands of rock’n’roll DNA from bands like Rush, Kings X, Whitesnake and Led Zeppelin, the Perth-based trio creates the kind of music that grabs your heart and your mind, and makes you want to shake your hair and your hips and dance, all at the same time. Since starting out in 2009, the band has gained fans at home in Australia and around the world: Ragdoll has played Rocklahoma three years in a row, and have toured extensively in Australia and the US – in 2014 they even shared the bill at LA’s famed Whisky A Go Go with Skid Row.

Ragdoll Rewound is the band’s latest release and if you’re already a fan, it’s a must-have. It’s also the perfect introduction to the band if you’re just getting to know them. The album pulls together all the tracks from the band’s first two EPs (Ragdoll Rock and Here Today), a live-version of the brand new “Rewind Your Mind”, as well as live-versions of three other tracks, including the rip-roaring “All I Want” from Ragdoll’s 2013 EP All I Want Is Everything.

The live stuff is thrilling to listen to, showing off the band’s skill and power and giving you a taste of their live-show. Still, the heart of Ragdoll Rewound is the reworked older material. Ragdoll’s intent was to create the ultimate versions of these songs, making them sound the way the band always wanted them to sound, with no compromises. Well, mission accomplished. It’s an absolute treat to listen to the lovingly remastered and expertly remixed versions of kick-ass rockers like “Here Today” and “Overnight Sensation”. The music punches through with full force, revealing new shades and details, even if you already know and love the tunes.

Ragdoll on stage in Rocklahoma. Photo by Elspeth Erickson Photography.
Ragdoll on stage in Rocklahoma. Photo by Elspeth Erickson Photography.

This is pure rock’n’roll gold from start to finish with riff-heavy, rocking hits like “Tell Me” and “Foot To The Floor”, as well as soaring heart-piercers like “Heaven Above”, “In My Mind” and “Ashamed”. (Just my opinion, but “Ashamed is one of the best and most soul-wrenching morning-after-songs ever). And you can crank the volume up to 11 for the killer live version of “All I Want”, and the most excellent “Rewind Your Mind”.

Everything that makes Ragdoll stand out is here: the inspired and expressive guitar work from Leon Todd, Cam Barrett’s topnotch drumming, and the crazy-good vocals of Ryan Rafferty (one of my favourite rock vocalists right now). On tracks like “The Feeling” and the flat-out gorgeous “Could It Be Love” his voice sends shivers down my spine .

This is not paint-by-numbers rock, instead the music is alive with energy and emotion and finely crafted lyrics: each song is like a treasure chest you can return to and explore again and again, always finding something more to love. Whether you’re a new fan, an old fan, or someone ready to make a new acquaintance: add Ragdoll Rewound to your musical collection. Pair it with All I Want Is Everything for the maximum Ragdoll-effect.

Ragdoll’s official website / Facebook / Twitter

Lineup:

  • Ryan Rafferty – VOCALS/BASS
  • Leon Todd – GUITARS
  • Cam Barrett – DRUMS

Track-list:

  1. Here Today (remastered)
  2. Tell Me (remastered)
  3. Could It Be Love (remastered)
  4. Heaven Above (remastered)
  5. Overnight Sensation (remastered)
  6. Foot To The Floor (remixed)
  7. The Feeling (remixed)
  8. Ashamed (remixed)
  9. In My Mind (Remixed)
  10. Rewind Your Mind (live)
  11. All I Want (live)
  12. Tell Me (live)
  13. Foot To The Floor (live)

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