Label: Slagg Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Ragg are a band from California. They feature 5-members in their ranks – including two females (on vocals & guitar). The band have just released their self-titled CD and it features an interesting mix of various styles and nuances to create a fun blend of hard rocking music. The politically charged opener “Valedictorian” really gets the ball rolling. The song is an excellent opener as it just goes right for the throat and doesn’t let go. It keeps a steady pace throughout and lead vocalist Debi Red really spits out the lyrics with conviction and ferocity. Her style is really suitable for what the song is trying to convey. With the next song, “Architect”, the band keeps things going full speed ahead. At almost 3 minutes long, it hits you hard and fast. The next song, “Serenity” plays up to its title as it starts of slow and well – serene before it evolves into a heavy song that just grinds along and then really picks up the pace. Ragg is a band that combines the melodically sonic combustibility of hard rock and metal with the energy and socially aware lyrics of punk rock. One thing I really like about this band is their use of melody on top of their hard charged lyrics. It’s really a cool combination and a facet of the band that makes this CD a worthwhile and interesting listen. “Empty Heart” is another good track as Debi‘s vocal style alternates between rapid fire precision and a more dreamy vibe. The CD basically keeps a steady pace throughout, as can be heard on the songs: “Interrupted” and “So Down”. “Interrupted”, in particular has a ton of energy going for it and it would make a great single (in my opinion). “Sucker” is possibly my favorite track here. It is a no-nonsense number that just gallops along and one that was worthy of repeated listening. “Righteous One” is another favorite. It’s got three distinctive styles as it goes from slow to mid-tempo to really, really fast and heavy. Other highlights include: “Desperation”, “Complicated” and “Fear Not”. Ragg brings things to a satisfying conclusion with the final two tracks: “Sin & Love” and “Brutal”. In addition to lead vocalist Debi Red, the rest of the band is comprised of Monique Grajeda (Guitar & backing vocals), Anthony Bolin (Guitar & backing vocals), Leni X (Bass & backing vocals) and Mike Miller (drums). All the members turn in fine performances. When all is said and done, Ragg have delivered 14 songs and 53 minutes worth of quality, hard driving music that doesn’t let up until the final note is played. The band really utilizes a wide range of influences and it all comes together nicely. In the end, this is a CD that should come as a welcome surprise for fans of rock, punk and metal.

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Valedictorian
  2. Architect
  3. Serenity
  4. Empty Heart
  5. Interrupted
  6. So Down
  7. Sucker
  8. Rightous One
  9. Complicated
  10. Desperation
  11. Fear Not
  12. Empty
  13. Sin & Love
  14. Brutal

 

Line Up

  • Debi Red – Lead Vocals
  • Monique Grajeda – Guitars, Backing Vocals
  • Anthony Bolin – Guitar, Boss & Backing Vocals
  • Leni X – Bass, Baritone Guitars & Backing Vocals
  • Mike Miller – Drums  

 

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