RAGDOLL – Here Today (2012)

RAGDOLL - Here Today (2012)


Sometimes you get that feeling that you are hearing something that could be rather important. Something that could just explode.

After hearing RAGDOLL’s “Here Today” I am absolutely convinced that this band from Perth, Western Australia, is destined for great things.

This melodic rock, eighties-influenced hard rock band have a sound which belongs to big arenas. Indeed it’s hard to believe this is an independent release.

Every track here is a winner; it’s as simple as that.

Title track “Here Today” blasts out of the blocks with some bombastic guitar riffs and a chorus that prompts me to liken it to the band Extreme who have that undefinable ‘something’ in their sound, song delivery and arrangements.

The canvas is large: the sound is distinctly modern, the musicianship tight as can be, but above all there’s that feeling of timelessness: like a marriage of the best modern instrumentation but with reverence and respect for classic rock traditions, and that’s both unusual and refreshing in a young band.

The track that really grabs me though is follower “Tell Me”. It’s so hard, so immediate and catchy.

And it’s here that you realise what great musicians these guys are: Barrett’s drumming is solid, dynamic and while not flashy, he’s clearly more than just another rock drummer. Todd is simply great, a guitarist who stands out more than someone of his age should: like 40 years of craft have been forced into his twenty-something year old hands.

The real jewel though here is Ry Rafferty, whose impressive vocals get a chance to open up and show you glimpses of what he’s capable of. There’s a lot of Glenn Hughes in there and he let’s a little of it out here on what just may be the best song of the album.

And then we have the ballad “Could It Be Love” which is like one of the best ballads Gotthard never wrote. It’s a song like they used to make back in the ’80s when a ballad was essential on any rock album except here it’s gloriously brought up to date.

“Heaven Above” is a 7 minute opus that puts the bands capabilities as musicians well and truly on show, with a 3 minute outro from guitarist Leon Todd.

“Overnight Sensation” not only shares the title with the famous Firehouse song, structurally reminds them but sonically this is much more harder, a party fun track.

The following tracks were presented last year mostly for promotion, being “Foot To The Floor” exactly what title says: a balls out rocker showing that the band knows how to write a song with instant appeal, and it has a simplicity and a drive that will have you singing along and banging your head in appreciation.

Next, “The Feeling” proves that you can write about the state of the planet within the confines of a sublime melody not a world away from giants like Foreigner, and it’s here where singer (and bassist) Rafferty cuts loose in fine Lou Gramm style making you wonder just what his voice can’t do.

He does get to show his mellow introspective side on the slower atmospheric tale of regret at a one night stand that is “Ashamed”, a track that hints at the real depth of the band.

Last song “In My Mind” is perhaps Ragdoll’s most radio friendly tune with an almost insatiable melody that has cross-over appeal written all over it. It’s melodic and poppy, but carried along by a strong lead vocal and a bank of backing vocals that layer the chorus before the guitar kicks back in.

Ragdoll delivers a traditional melodic hard rock that draws influence from the classics of the ’80s with an updated sound, and wraps it up into what is killer bunch of songs.

Their energy and passion is certainly special, with an authentic style and an unrivalled dedication to the music. It’s steeped in tradition, paying homage to the greats and ghosts of the past while forging its own exciting new path through the Rock wilderness.

Like I said, every song here is a winner. And while you may hear that a lot of the time I’ll stick my neck out and say that these guys are the real deal.

Ragdoll is sure to be a great success and I can see a very positive future ahead of them.

Well done guys!

You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrockz

01 – Here Today

02 – Tell Me

03 – Could It Be Love

04 – Heaven Above

05 – Overnight Sensation

06 – Foot To The Floor

07 – The Feeling

08 – Ashamed

09 – In My Mind

Ryan Dash Rafferty – Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass

Le’on Todd – Guitars, Backing Vocals

Cam Barrett – Drums, Backing Vocals



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