"RRG" (Drastic)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Richie Ranno, of course, is the lead guitarist of the popular 80s band, Starz (click here to read more). This CD, recorded in the 90s, goes even farther to demonstrate Ranno's already impressive work in Starz and blends a crisp hard rock rhythm with bluesy guitar riffs to produce a very strong album.

"RRG" isn't just about guitar, of course, but it is Ranno's guitar throughout that shines here. Ranno offers up some killer riffage, heavy with blues influences but just as loaded with hard rock power. The CD begins with the appropriately entitled Robin Trower tune, "Whiskey Train," which starts out with a gritty, Starz-like riff and lives up to its name with liquor-roughed vocals and an irresistible rhythm. "Send Me an Angel" has a Rolling Stones'-like feel to it while the third track, "Prisoner" is another solid rocker with ballsy riffs.

The CD seems to balance itself like that throughout, offering Stones-like near-ballads with gritty powerful rockers. All in all, "RRG" is a strong CD which reminds us how great Ranno's fretwork is and how important it was to the success of Starz. That's not to say Ranno is the only one who succeeds here: the band's other members are solid as well.

Richie Ranno Group is: Richie Ranno - guitar; Neil Sundel - vocals; Peter Scance - bass; Tony Morra - drums. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03 Jun 2024 13:03:48 -0400.