Hey ho. Let’s go!
Canada have brought me maple syrup, and for that point only they will always have a special place in my heart - what else would I put on my French toast? Ramona is another good Canadian export, following in the heels of Junior Achiever, a band that lead singer Dave Fritz was once part of, and that Ramona are not a million miles away from either.
This is a very clever EP. We have six songs that are not too long, don’t try and be clever, and that are instantly accessible. It might be easy to write them off as being too good; offering a sound that is deliberately constructed to be catchy and radio-friendly, but personally I think that this is actually a sign of good song-writing and the bands cunning knowledge of musical marketing within the industry that can certainly be more than a little bit fickle.
The first song on ‘Mornington Cresecent Now Open’ is the high-tempo happy tune, ‘Another Mouth To Feed’ which sounds like a cross between Everclear and the Zebrahead-spin-off band, I Hate Kate. Whilst the harmonies and vocals sound like the former, it is the slight experimental Pop/Rock of the later that injects the song with something a little different. ‘A Way Over’ is a gentle plod of a track that could be on the soundtrack to a movie. With verses that have bass, drums and vocals it works well by using the basics to build a great song. The chorus is punchy and catchy rounding off the track well. Then in, ‘The Heart Is Awake’ we have a good solid melodic rock track. The guitars happily go from chunky riffs to melodic licks, and the rhythm section is tight, plodding and pounding together.
‘The One’ is another very strong track showing that there really are no weak tracks. This is slightly Pop/Punk but more intelligent, mixing up the great Punk riffs with Dave’s soothing vocals over the top. ‘Hanging On The Words’ is the token slow track, and it’s very good. The lyrics are thoughtful and not clichéd like the trap a million other bands fall into. The vocals, strumming guitar and keyboards come off well, and even as the song matures, the bass and drums know their place so appear without taking over. The song builds up nicely towards the end too. Now, the last song, ‘Kids In Tokyo’ show the band at their best. This is as catchy as Swine-Flu with thick bassline and some loveable Punk riffs. This is classic Ramones clashing with MXPX and Silver Sun…and of course this is the sort of music that goes down an absolute storm in Japan, and I’m sure that is not by coincidence…! Clever.
I was/am a big fan of Junior Achiever, and Ramona seem to be a well-crafted and well-polished version of that band. This is great rock that is uplifting and intriguing and ultimately leaving you wanting more!