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Rags ‘n Riches: Heaven Is Only A Moment Away

Scour the net and you’ll find a lot of love for Australian rock man Scott Ginn, his solo album and bands - BOSS, The Breakers, Cheetah and Rags ‘n Riches - lauded by many; the latter having built up a strong live reputation between 1989 and 1993 before splitting up without releasing more than a solitary 7” single. That was a situation that was rectified in 2016 with the appearance of Shipwrecked, a collection raised from the depths of material this band recorded back in the day, of which there is believed to copious amounts. Something backed up by the release of Heaven Is Only A Moment Away, which is now the second album by a band who ceased to exist two and a half decades ago.

Now, having slipped this CD into the player and hit play without knowing any of that, I have to admit that the first thing that struck me was just how harsh, yet thin the sound that met me was. And the next thought that elicited was, ‘well, this sounds like a demo recording from the 80s...’. Only now do I realise how correct that assessment was, so there’s really no getting away from the fact that if you’re looking for a modern sounding, all singing-all dancing set of songs, than HIOAMA will be something of a shock. So let’s park that and the other semi-obvious sound limitations this CD contains - a lot of programmed drums, the occasional flat backing vocal and one or two strained notes from Ginn behind the mic and put them down to the unfinished status of how these recordings were left - and focus on the positives, because there are a lot of them.

Firstly is the honest, un-self conscious attack - Rags ‘n Riches were clearly doing this for the right reasons - as they mined the sound of bands like Motley Crue, Poison and Warrant for inspiration and came up with their own strong interpretation. The album’s title track positively begs to be included on Too Fast For Love by da Crue, while the “Is This Really Love” slowie would have done anything to have been lauded by Jani Lane and added to Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich. Throughout, there’s a vibe that the likes of Kingofthehill and Enuff Z’Nuff brought to the glam-sleaze-hard rock party, with subtle pop melodies always underpinning the more attitude soaked efforts. And while lyrics that talk of squeezing juice from lemons felt hackneyed when Plant and co were popping their pips back in the 70s, combining them to this upbeat good time feel does somehow add an air of authenticity.

With a variety of line-ups and some tracks featuring a lot more keyboards than others, it’s hard to get a handle on what was created when and there’s no denying that it robs these recordings of any real flow when brought together ��" and how an unreleased album can have bonus tracks, I’m not too sure. However, if late 80s/early 90s party rock with an eye for something a little more serious, sounds like it would be up your street, then there’s no denying Rags ‘n Riches are a band you should check out. Although there’s also no getting away from the fact that you should temper expectations in line with this release’s obvious sonic limitations.

Track Listing
1. Heaven Is Only A Moment Away
2. When The Dream Comes True
3. Is This Really Love
4. Last Days Of The World
5. We Stand On The Edge
6. Sign Of The Times
7. Cindy's Working On The Streets
8. Rotunda Comunda
9. Chains Of Love
10. Catch Me If You Can
11. Take It To The Top

Added: December 2nd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Heaven Is Only A Moment Away on bandcamp
Hits: 807
Language: english

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