BioA few years ago, WE RAGAZZI were the darlings of the Chicago non-angular music scene. Their debut album Suicide Sound System (My Pal God Records) was a fuzzy little gem in a city filled with too many bands armed with, to quote New Order, "a lot of technique." Composed of crude instrumentation, using farfisa combo organ, drums, guitar, an overdose of passion and Anthony Rolando's dynamic voice, the three discovered that, blues + no wave = an atonal howl they could call their own.
Critics raved. Boys and girls swooned. Their "rickety mix of no wave and disemboweled retro rock" was sweaty and soulful and good. On stage, this howl translated roughly. Passion overtook ambition. The group's first 25-date tour ended abruptly in Memphis, and after a vicious onstage quarrel, WE RAGAZZI faced the dark specter of extinction.
Within a year the group reformed. The farfisa organ, which earmarked the sound of "Suicide Sound System," was sold: out of boredom, for rent money, for closure. A new sound emerged. Songs composed on a donated upright piano were completed in the studio using electric piano and analog synthesizers; the AcHe (Self-Starter Foundation) documented this evolution.