EP Review: Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors – “Traitors Club Year 1”
As most of you probably remember, a couple of years ago Ginger Wildheart (a guy who Ryan Hamilton has toured with on a few occasions) undertook the mammoth proposition that was the G.A.S.S project where he released a five-track EP (consisting of three new songs and two demos/rarities) every month. It was a hell of an ambitious undertaking, but Ginger managed to steer through it with consummate ease and the project saw him not only cranking out some great new tunes, but also stretching himself a bit musically and exploring some new areas to good effect.
Fast forward to 2017 and Ryan Hamilton has put a similar project together called the Traitors’ Club, with him releasing two new tracks every month, one new song with the full Traitors band and a more stripped down acoustic cover version as a B-side. This EP collects seven of the nine A-sides so far, and is a good insight into the project to date, with the only absentees being Hamilton’s recent cover of Wham’s Last Christmas, and his country and western collaboration with Tony Wright from Terrorvision Every Time I’m Kissing You, which can instead be found on the pair’s C&W covers album Grand Ole Otley.
By and large, this is the same three minute bursts of sunshiny pop-punk that we’ve come to expect from the Traitors, but it’s heartening to report that their standards definitely aren’t slipping as the likes of I’m So Glad and Brand New Man zip by satisfyingly. It’s not a one-trick pony though, as Ghost of James Dean hides some deceptively spiteful lyrics under its sunny exterior, while Stranger Across The Street is a fuzzed-up rush which ends suddenly at around the 90 second mark.
If you didn't sign up for the Traitors' Club first time out (and more fool you if not) then this is a good sample of what you've been missing - combining the trademark upbeat pop-punk we've come to expect from this band, but adding a couple of unexpected swerves round the edges, it's well worth your time tracking it down and giving it a listen.