CD Review: The Ragamuffins of Love – “Wise Up!”

Are you looking for a group that knows how to rock with a sense of humor? The Ragamuffins of Love played at IPO this year and have the musical chops to show off on the opener “Kiss Those Good Times Goodbye.” Sung and played by the likes of Eff Dupp, Amadou Schbag, Kaye Seurat and Saul Goode. I think Bart Simpson will be calling Moe’s bar looking for these guys for sure. Eff (aka Sandy McKnight) has a slurred quality to the vocals that recall Joe Walsh or Randy Newman a bit. The riffs and melodies here are no joke though. The next song, “Tangerine” get into your head pretty well, and the “Plastic Yellow Raincoat” is a great song here in the Elvis Costello vein. The skinny tie jangle pop of “Julie Fashion Queen” will bring sweet memories to many power pop fans of the 80’s. More highlights here include “All Broken Hearted Lovers,” and the Pete Townshend’s gin soaked “It’s Not True.” Eff then lets the band go for a metal/punk intro sound on “I Want My Money Back.” The intro doesn’t match the song that well here. Overall, the production is a slightly uneven, and the backing vocals aren’t that good, but the songwriting and musicianship is solid gold here. I only expect improvement from these guys. Fans of The Kinks, Elvis Costello and Buddy Love will love this stuff. I wised up, you should too.

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