RICKY WARWICK – When Life Was Hard And Fast

RICKY WARWICK - When Life Was Hard And Fast
  • 9.8/10
    RICKY WARWICK - When Life Was Hard And Fast - 9.8/10


Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: February 19, 2021

[spoiler title=’Metal Express Radio – Ratings Scale’ style=’default’ collapse_link=’true’]

10.0:         Cannot be improved! Perfect, instant classic! Essential in any record collection.
9.5 – 9.9:  Fantastic, spectacular and outstanding!
9.0 – 9.4:  Amazing release! It just lacks that little extra spice to make it perfect.
8.5 – 8.9:  Exceptional release! Will likely rank among top ten albums of the year.
8.0 – 8.4:  Great release! It has many different qualities.
7.5 – 7.9:  Above average! It is an enjoyable release.
7.0 – 7.4:  It is not brilliant, but has many strong points.
6.0 – 6.9:  It has its moments, but is not that strong.
5.0 – 5.9:  Slightly above average, does not stand out. Good outweighs bad by just a little.
4.0 – 4.9:  Just below average, bad outweighs good by just a little.
3.0 – 3.9:  Mediocre. There might be a song or a performance that is enjoyable, but that is it.
2.0 – 2.9:  Very weak! There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, too many flaws.
1.0 – 1.9:  This release gives the word “terrible” new meaning.
0.1 – 0.9:  Awful! Avoid at all cost. There is nothing good to say about this release.


User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The Backstory

Ricky Warwick is the rugged and soulful front man for Black Star Riders. When he’s not jamming with the Thin Lizzy inspired 5 piece, Warwick can be found performing on social media or releasing a solo album. When Life Was Hard and Fast is Ricky’s 5th studio album and features his backing band The Fighting Hearts; Robert Crane (Black Star Riders), Xavier Muriel (ex-Buckcherry), and Keith Nelson (ex-Buckcherry). Nelson also doubles as producer. Guest appearances include Andy Taylor (The Power Station), Luke Morley (Thunder) , Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses), and Joe Elliot (Def Leppard).

*The CD version of When Life Was Hard and Fast comes with a bonus disc of cover songs. That disc was not available to Metal Express Radio at the time of this review.

[Listen to our Ricky Warwick interview HERE]

The Album

“When Life Was Hard and Fast” is a middle of the road bluesy rocker about about growing up and believing you are invincible and life would always be the way you pictured it. Warwick’s vocals are gritty yet melodic on the break up song “You Don’t Love Me.” Nelson’s subtle yet effective guitar work helps shape the track. Muriel pounds the snare throughout “I’d Rather Be Hit,” while Warwick laments about wasted relationships.

Coming in at just over 2 minutes, “Gunslinger” recalls the raw and edgy Rock and Roll of the ’70s. “Never Corner a Rat” is a great mixture of Punk fury and ’90s alternative angst. Ricky teams up with his teenage daughter Pepper Warwick on the touching acoustic ballad “Time Don’t Seem to Matter.” Warwick wears his heart on his sleeve as he struggles with balancing family life with life on the road.

Warwick won’t give up on his emotions on the catchy track “Fighting Heart.” “I Don’t Feel at Home” has a bit of an old Country swagger to it. “Still Alive” is an anthem for all the forgotten hell raisers out there. The demo track “Clown of Misery” is just Warwick with a guitar, tape recorder, and an idea. This song could easily be a radio single even in its demo form. “You’re My Rock ‘n Roll” is a testimony to the fact that rock ain’t dead yet and it lives in more than just music form.

The Verdict

When Life Was Hard and Fast is a collection of no bullshit, simple, and catchy Rock songs. Warwick leaves no emotion unfettered on these 11 gritty tales of relatable Rock and Roll.



  1. When Life Was Hard and Fast
  2. You Don’t Love Me
  3. I’d Rather Be Hit
  4. Gunslinger
  5. Never Corner a Rat
  6. Time Don’t Seem to Matter
  7. Fighting Heart
  8. I Don’t Feel at Home
  9. Still Alive
  10. Clown of Misery
  11. You’re My Rock ‘N Roll

The Fighting Hearts are

Robert Crane – Bass
Xavier Muriel – Drums
Keith Nelson – Guitar


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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