It seems inevitable, that if you’re a frontman in a band enough, and you put out enough records, and stick it out, you’ll eventually put together a collection of songs and decide to trek out on your own, trying your hand at what amounts to a solo acoustic record. Plenty of folks have done it, with varying success. Greg Graffin comes to mind. Brian Fallon. Chuck Ragan. Darius Koski. And, in what is the second full-length with his name prominently front and center, here’s Russ Rankin’s new one, Come Together, Fall Apart. Rankin, frontman of long-running political pop punk outfit Good Riddance, CTFA features eleven songs with acoustic guitars and only minor accompaniment - bass, the occasional guitar solo, piano, even a flute. The album sounds fully realized and well-produced, while in keeping with Good Riddance’s penchant for threading political songs amid ones of loss and love. Fans of Rankin’s other work will find a lot to like here, I’m sure, and most of the itches that a GR record scratches will probably be scratched here, though this listener personally prefers Rankin with a loud-ass band behind him. But that’s the danger of doing the solo acoustic thins, right? It’s almost impossible to separate the artist from their other, more well-known efforts. Anyway, these songs, even with their distinct and accomplished musicianship, have a tendency to sound a little same-y, and a little toothless. Maybe I'm just used to a loud band behind him.
Russ Rankin – “Come Together Fall Apart” (Say-10)