On the aptly named new album Hard Love (Rascal Martinez Records) from singer/songwriter Rascal Martinez, the Nebraska native deals with the power and promise of love as it meets the sometimes frigid and uncaring reality of the world.
The resulting collision allows Martinez and his bandmates the opportunity to create a collection of nine sinewy, hard-edged blues-infused rock songs full of rich and resonant imagery that anyone with a heartbeat can relate to quite easily.
The measurable strength of the songs on this record not only lie in their singable and memorable lyrics that make each song stand as a shining example of exemplary songwriting, but also in the impassioned vocal stylings of Martinez himself. The bend but not break quality of his voice is a perfect match for these emotional creations.
The first three songs on the album “San Quentin,” “ Finders Keepers,” and “Vagabond’s Tale” set the tone of the emotional landscape that is traveled by the record by respectively addressing the elusive, mysterious and transitory nature of love.
They are followed by the two high points of the album, the sanguine and optimistic “ Until I Met You” and “Luvers” and by the mournful “State of Mind,” the grief-laden “It’s Pretty Hard” and the introspective “Too Far.”
Martinez closes out the album with the forceful “Don’t Tell Me” and the words “I’m right back where I began,” words which highlight the journey that love takes all of us on.
On this album, his first full – length LP, Martinez demonstrates a magnificent talent and captivating ability to tell the multifaceted story of our strongest emotion. At the beginning of the aforementioned “Until I Met You,” he sings “ I know a good love don’t come easy,” words he confirms time and time again on this strong, observant and overall wonderful album. https://www.rascalmartinez.com
Credits: Recorded and Mixed by James Fleege at Silver Street in Ashland, NE, Mastered by Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering in Omaha, NE., Musicians: Rascal Martinez, Marcello Sanchez, Spencer Krull, and Bryan Wheeler