The Hidden Agendas – Ragtime Gangsters
‘The Devil’s Hymn’ opens Ragtime Gangsters curiously, with washed out ethnic notes that shift into a screeching blast of rock and roll, passing through a spaghetti western vibe.
The bass thunders and the drums clatter with a crazy hecticness, all the while being perfectly and carefully held together by the song’s structure. Less heavy, but just as characteristic, ‘The Mad Captain’ tells a story that creates a vivid mental image, and is exactly the kind of song that would be thoroughly enjoyable to sing along to in a live setting with its sea shanty style. ‘Doppelgangin’ takes the singalong style even further, with its “woah woah” gang vocals that simply invite the listener to try to resist joining in. Rough around the edges but well presented, ‘The Texan’ takes a 2 step shuffle and embeds it in The Hidden Agendas’ own style of blustery Americana, creating a track that becomes a real toe tapper. Ragtime Gangsters draws to its close with ‘Alien’, a track that is more polished and emotional in its delivery, and one which eventually spirals into a huge unloading of fizzing, spluttering rock, creating the perfect conclusion for this powerful set of songs.