When Life Was Hard And Fast (WLWHAF) is the stunning second solo album from Ricky Warwick. Put together with a group of killer guests ranging from Joe Elliot, Luke Morley, to Andy Taylor, Dizzy Reed and Keith Nelson. The album showcases Ricky’s musical prowess, with a slight lean towards Americana WLWHAF is unpretentious Rock and Roll at heart.
Rousing your spirits from its start the album and the songs are well-placed throughout. Giving you everything you’d expect from the man himself and some. Covering all the bases from Classic Rock and Roll, Punk and Americana. You can’t ignore the gusto and vitality from Warwick and his band and his guest musicians. I’m sure even the die-hard Almighty fans will appreciate the clear powering throughout.
The title track When Life Was Hard And Fast moves at an exhilarating speed and adding to the thrill is the additional backing vocals from Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot. Bassist Robbie Crane adds the zest on the tub-thumping You Don’t Love Me Anymore, listen out for the guest guitar solo by Luke Morley of Thunder.
In a political guise, I’d Rather Be threw me a curveball the first time I heard it. With elements of old school punk, it delivers an uppercut to smeared politicians and adding to the smash is Andy Taylor’s guitar solo.
But if dirty Rock n Roll is more your thing then Warwick’s cover of Mink DeVille Gunslinger provides the arsenal. It looks like Aerosmith weren’t the only band influenced by DeVille. Ricky’s 70s vibe version is a stand out track, and one I feel will go down well-performed live.
Bish-bash-bosh! Warwick is back on the punkish attack on Never Corner A Rat, drummer Xavier Muriel puts the pedal to the metal bringing this beast to full throttle. Halting the break-neck speed, Time Don’t Seem to Matter is a beautiful father to daughter song. Edging into Americana, and features his daughter Pepper in the backing vocals.
Fighting Heart is the first single off the album that captivates your ears with its prowess from the off. It’s been said the track could easily fit on to a Black Star Riders album and I don’t disagree but I prefer it’s on here. As Ricky refines the lyrics and vocals to his style.
Withdrawing from the thunderous rock and roll I Don’t Feel Home is a poignant look at drug addiction. Bristling with Americana its flavour is somewhere between the Flying Pickets and House Martins with Dizzy Reed adding keys to the mix. Still Alive brings back the firehouse of the 80s, big hair, big guitars and big vocals on this call to arms with guitarist Keith Nelson adding his extra dynamic.
Going back to basics Ricky recorded Clowne of Misery in five minutes onto his iPhone. It worked so well that he used it on the album.
The feel-good factor of You’re My Rock ‘N’ Roll has sensations of The Wildhearts. It’s big, anthemic, and endearing. Rock N Roll is very much alive on this album closer.
When Life Was Hard And Fast is a must addition to any rock fans album collection/stream site.
Released in a limited jewel case the 11 track album artwork depicts the famous crash scene from the acclaimed Ards TT Motor Car Race in County Down, Northern Ireland. That just so happened to neighbour the field owned by Ricky’s Great Grandfather and is where Ricky spent the early years of his life.
If you bought the Deluxe version, then you’ve got a gem with the Stairwell Troubadour bonus disc of 10 excellent covers ranging from pop, rock, blues and metal – available here https://www.banquetrecords.com/ricky-warwick/when-life-was-hard-and-fast/RW-WLWHAF
- When Life Was Hard and Fast 4:08
- You Don’t Love Me 4:22
- I’d Rather Be Hit 4:09
- Gunslinger 2:12
- Never Corner A Rat 3:02
- Time Don’t Seem To Matter 4:00
- Fighting Heart 3:18
- I Don’t Feel At Home 5:07
- Still Alive 3:30
- Clown Of Misery 2:34
- You’re My Rock ‘n Roll 3:16
Ricky Warwick | Vocals & Guitar
Keith Nelson | Guitar, Backing Vocals, Percussion
Robert Crane | Bass
Xavier Muriel | Drums