Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts: ‘Ballad of A Misspent Youth’ EP

Released on November 4, 2022 (Music Recording Group, LLC)

Having just stepped away from his previous band, frontman Tuk Smith was booked as the first act to hit the stage on The Stadium Tour headlined by Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard. Smith released a single to launch a new band and get the word out there in a big way due to the exposure of that high profile tour. The Covid pandemic hit of course, and it derailed Smith’s and the rest of the bands’ plans as the tour was postponed. Smith and his previous band, Biters, made waves with their brand of punk rock before ultimately disbanding. I didn’t connect with Biters for whatever reason. I love Degeneration and they were in that vein. I’ll have to revist their catalog.

Smith wasted no time while on lockdown and continued to work on music and while he and The Restless Hearts were replaced on The Stadium Tour. Things might have worked out for the best for Smith and company, as he released an excellent EP Ballad of A Misspent Youth to follow up the What Kinda Love EP, which he issued in 2020.

The EP opens with the title track, where you get a taste of what they are all about. The sound is heavy on ’70s classic rock, southern rock, and a touch of glam, without sounding forced, contrived, and disingenuous like the flood of 20 somethings out there now. Top to bottom, Ballad of A Misspent Youth is solid, but I must say that I really enjoy the first half better a lot more with “Ballad of A Misspent Youth,” “Girls On The East Side Of Town,” and “Shadow On The Street,” with the best tune on the EP [in my opinion] being “Girls On The East Side Of Town.” The song channels Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy and has the best Lizzy earworm riff that I have ever heard. It even tops stuff that Black Star Riders have done in recent years.

There’s plenty of guitar on Ballad of A Misspent Youth. There’s hooks, melodies and an infectious charisma that will have the listener wanting more. This band has whetted my appetite for their take on ’70s rock ‘n’ roll and I cannot wait to see this live while I wait for their next recording.

Track List:
01. Ballad of A Misspent Youth
02. Girls On The East Side of Town
03. Shadow On The Street
04. Say Goodbye
05. Lovesick City
06. Forgive, But Won’t Forget

Band Members:
Tuk Smith – lead vocals, guitar
Ricky Dover Jr. – guitar
Shane Rickerson – bass
Nigel Dupree – drums

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Ruben Mosqueda for Sleaze Roxx, December 2022

Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts‘ “Girls On The East Side of Town” video: