Music » Critics' Picks

We Ragazzi

Monday, July 5; Rocket Bar


Not only has We Ragazzi written an ode to Chicago ("I'm Gonna Be Fine"), but it's also been influenced by the city's music. Perhaps because the band is two-thirds female, its soul-weary, punk-tinged blues-rock is not soaked in Strokes-like testosterone. Singer-guitarist Anthony Rolando is heavy on the high notes, complemented by Colleen Burke's off-kilter keyboard melodies and Alianna Kalaba's creatively timed, primitive drumming. Yes, We Ragazzi is sans bassist, but its sound is full-throttle, punctuated by Rolando's lead pipes; his dramatic presence has led many critics to complain of sonic totalitarianism. But on We Ragazzi's latest, Wolves with Pretty Lips, he bellows and growls on the passion-obsessed "Pretty Little Job" amid storming percussion and pounding piano. "I Want Butterflies (All the Time)" is directed by solidly rhythmic hammering, and eerie organs set the tone for "Making You Queens Tonight." Vocals are still up front, but Burke and Kalaba aren't taking the backseat.