Randi Russo

Mixing indie rock, New York garage rock, and singer/songwriter sensibilities, Randi Russo has drawn comparisons to fellow New Yorkers Patti Smith, the Velvet Underground, and Sonic Youth for her chaotic and pensive songwriting.

Purchasing an electric guitar at the age of 19, the left-handed Russo found playing right-handed unsatisfactory, eventually playing left-handed but keeping the instrument strung the same as if it were being played right-handed. This technique created a distinctive form of chording and riffing, and Russo soon formed her first band with a bassist and a percussionist under the guise of Raizel. The trio recorded one single but disbanded in 1996, leaving Russo to hone her craft in relative seclusion until she emerged as a solo artist following her return to New York City's Antifolk scene in 1999.

After about a year on the solo circuit, Russo formed a band and recorded an admittedly chaotic live EP that captured only their second show with Live at CBGB's 313 Gallery. Russo entered the studio to record her debut, 2001's intensely focused Solar Bipolar (OliveJuice). Although it was released at roughly the same time other New York garage-influenced bands were again rising to prominence, Russo and her band stood out from the pack as the vehicle of a tough-minded female singer/songwriter and successfully avoided being categorized as a bandwagon jumper.

— Matt Fink, All Music Guide (edited)

Some press quotes:

"…Randi's someone to keep your eye on." -The Village Voice

"There's definitely a strong tie to the styles and sounds of the early New York punk scene, Patti Smith poetics driving over underground distortion. Yeah, crazy feedback slide drifting through my cranium. Dirty Lou Reed guitar crunches mixed with early Velvet Underground pop noise, and a touch of more current inspirations spilling out into the melodic rock beauty. Sonic Youth to even a little Pixie curl. Some no wave artiness slips in to the gutter drawl, like a Jim Carroll dry dream, and it's nice. ...Randi Russo has her own stories to tell, and I'm listening to every word."- The Big Takeover (issue 50)

"...her guitar playing is sweet when it needs to be, but nasty in all the right places. All she needs is one gig opening for somebody like Cat Power, and her fame is pretty much guaranteed." -The Village Voice

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