Ragdoll – Rise (2021)

Back with hard-hitting music, 1980s alternative rock group Ragdoll are releasing original material after an approximately 25-year hiatus. Founded in the late 1980s by brothers David Cox (vocals and keyboard) and Wayne Cox (drums), Ragdoll was one of the more refreshing UK-based acts during the 90s; however, life took over and band members went their own ways to pursue different projects. Now, the Cox brothers, Paul Hird (bass and vocals) and Dec Burke (guitar) are using their diverse experiences to create unique, intriguing and soul-stirring music.

Influenced by various artists in different genres, Ragdoll nods to the classic rock sound of Led Zeppelin and Rush but adds a contemporary twinge of Stone Temple Pilots and Foo Fighters. Featured in RGM, Edgar Allen Poets and Roadie Metal (to name but a few), the English quartet are, once again, captivating audiences on an international level. We have the honour of reviewing their debut single ‘Rise’.

As the band members reside in different countries, ‘Rise’ is an impressive long-distance collaborative project. What I find intriguing is not only how the remote recording was done, but also how the essence of collective movements penetrates the song from recording to lyrical content. Inspired by various sociopolitical movements in 2020, there is an incorporation of different perspectives, opinions and thoughts in the profound lyricism. This intrigues me because it shows how one’s environment (different countries) influences standpoints and the consequences that arise from this merging of ideas.

Described by Ragdoll as “a song about the collective power of people to stand up against injustice and prejudice in the world by peaceful means”, ‘Rise’ has a rather provocative and controversial quality. Blending pounding drums with dynamic guitars, the tune plunges you into a hard-hitting swirl of sound. In fact, it’s more than a swirl of sound, Ragdoll tosses you into a turbulent river engulfing you with the heavy guitar-driven melody and evocative lyricism.

In ‘Rise’ Ragdoll shows that there is no need for long, pretentious lyricism using an abrupt, brash and blunt lyrical execution. The swelling instrumentation crescendos into catchy choruses, infectious verses and ear-splitting interspersed falsettos. Yet, what I find most interesting is the incorporation of hand-clapping at the beginning and end of the song. This simplistic element draws everything together enhancing the feeling of unity, wholeness and revolution.

In addition to the single, Ragdoll released an official music video for ‘Rise’. It can be viewed on their YouTube Channel.

For more from Ragdoll check out their official website, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

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