Review: Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms – Heart String Soul
It appears that Ryan Allen holds religiously to the old adage write what you know as evidenced by his very latest, very personal CD entitled “Heart String Soul”. He should be very pleased by the result.
This is the first release I’ve heard from Allen as the band he had previously been active with, Thunderbirds Are Now, simply was not on my radar. And somehow, his first solo release got by me too. Fortunately, this one did not.
From what I understand, Allen has a punk-pop background and you can clearly hear it on a song like “Angela 97′”, a track that packs as much of a punch as a classic Bill Stephenson tune (remember All and The Decedents?). And it’s just one of a collection of high octane, catchy tunes that work their way into your head and take up residence for a little while. From my perspective, they’re welcome to stay as long as they like.
“Should Be Me” is radio friendly (ironically) and instantly memorable. The cascading guitar at the beginning of “Looking Forward to Looking Back” will suck you right in and “Become a Disaster” is an anthemic song that would have made a good Super Deluxe tune had it been grunged up a bit. “Not Hanging Out” is as good a song as you’re likely hear all year. “Back to Square One” is a rocker of the highest order. Truth be told, there isn’t a wasted note on the entire disc.
Ryan Allen’s Heart String Soul is a very pleasant surprise.