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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Ricky Warwick 'When Life Was Hard and Fast' Album Review By JD Rich
Ricky Warwick 'When Life Was Hard and Fast' Album Review By JD Rich

Ricky Warwick

When Life Was Hard and Fast

Nuclear Blast Records

February 19, 2021

Album Review By JD Rich

Boston Rock Radio



Happy New Year and welcome to 2021! I”m back like a rash (the good kind)​ and ready to jump into new music. I’m pretty sure everyone else is primed for some distraction from unrelenting remnants of 2020. This is my first review of the new year, and it goes to Irish-born rocker Ricky Warwick (try saying that 10 times fast!) His impressive musical resume is long, so if the name sounds familiar but you can’t quite put your finger on it, I’ll try to narrow it down for you. If you’ve ever heard of the Almighty, Thin Lizzy, or Black Star Riders...yeah, he was in those bands. Also, his solo career has thus far resulted in eight studio albums, going on nine with the upcoming release of When Life Was Hard And Fast.​

Fans of contemporary Southern Rock won’t be disappointed in the variety of moods and ambiance contained on this 11-track EP. The faster-paced tracks really grab hold and don’t let go, while mixing playful mischief and bittersweet heartbreak. The title track gets into the album by reminiscing about days gone by and what’s been learned since. We’re also given pearls of wisdom such as: “never sleep with girls named Ruby, don’t mess with guys called Joe." I think I have that exact saying in cross-stitch hanging somewhere on a wall.​

“You’re My Rock and Roll” and “Never Corner A Rat” are the top two blistering songs that open the throttle to full speed. In contrast, the only true ballad that really tugs at the heartstrings, “Time Doesn’t Seem To Matter," is a tribute to the euphoria of being in love. A couple of slower songs had me genuinely concerned for Ricky’s mental well-being: “I Don’t Feel At Home” and “Clown of Misery” piqued my annoying curiosity whether a therapist should be called in. Heavy stuff.​

Powerful determination overcomes any chance of sliding into woeful sappy surrender, accompanied by equally strong guitar riffs and tempos that could outlast the Energizer Bunny. “Fighting Heart” acknowledges the sting of betrayal, yet encapsulates the message that it’s ok to get pissed off. It’s also ok to simply move on, as difficult as it may be, to escape a toxic situation. You can watch the video here:

“Still Alive” is a gritty tale about the seedy underbelly of just trying to survive by any means necessary, and it ain’t pretty. On the other hand, cocky tenacity can be found in “Gunslinger," an unapologetic anthem of taking control back.​

When Life Was Hard And Fast is a musical smorgasbord that touches on the basic elements that drive us. We can all relate to what was, what is, and the uncertainty of what will be. One thing is certain: When Life Was Hard And Fast will be available in its entirety on February 19th. Until then, you can check out the video for “You Don’t Love Me," where smooth vocals tell the story of bittersweet wisdom earned by walking away from a failed relationship:


Ricky Warwick Official Website



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