CD REVIEW: RAGDOLL – Back To Zero
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Ragdoll have impressed over the past few years with a handful of well-received Eps, and regular trips from their Perth, Western Australian home to rock n’ roll’s spiritual home, The U. S of A. Back To Zero is their long-awaited debut full-length.
Three superb musicians who have gelled through touring and started building a global fanbase, Back To Zero carries with it a hefty weight of expectation – perhaps because of that it’s a hit and miss affair.
Musically, the band couldn’t be better: Ryan Rafferty’s bass in solid, whilst his vocals are outstanding; Cam Barrett is a hard-hitting heavyweight on the drumkit, and Leon Todd is as close to a virtuoso as any modern guitarist of his generation you’d care to name.
The problems come when you strip away the flash performances and find songs like Shine, Playing God, Dreaming Out Loud plod where they should shoot sparks, and Rewind Your Mind, The Last Time or Save Me are overly repetitious.
Back To Zero is an enjoyable enough listen – Love On The Run is a knockout, and instrumental closer Kungfoolery is almost Zappa-esque – but with style taking far more priority than songcraft or substance, it’s easy to see that Ragdoll have better in them.
Originally published on 100% ROCK MAGAZINE