Riggs : Riggs
(Full Moon - 1982)
Category : overlooked
The music isn't nearly as extreme as the sleeve suggests. Riggs were actually a rather commercial sounding American Hard Rock band. They had an absolutely awesome uptempo Hard rock song called 'Radar Rider' on the soundtrack of the animated picture 'Heavy Metal'. I was so completely blown away by it that, when I later found this Riggs album in a bargain bin, I bought it without thinking. Unfortunately 'Radar Rider' still turned out to be their best song. But the album wasn't a real disappointment nevertheless.
It contained ten tracks going from uptempo Rock, over Hard Rock to Ballads. There were three filler tracks on it, leaving seven more to elevate the quality of the album to a rather high level. These are the four standout tracks:
'Ready or not' and 'Writing on the Wall' are two of their radio-friendly Hard Rock songs, although they might have been a tad too heavy for mainstream 80's Rock radio, even if the media had taken notice of the band. When I say that they're radio-friendly, this does in no way imply that Riggs' music fell in the brainless Hair Metal category. Most songs had enough personality to lift them above the crowd.
I'm always very weary of ballads as most are just cheesy little nothings, but I can recognise a good ballad when I hear one. 'Over and over' is one of them and it proved Riggs has the goods to take on the best in that department as well. Journey would've been proud to have had it on one of their albums.
'Girls on the loose' is an uptempo Rock song. I wouldn't call this Hard Rock as it sounds lightweight in comparison with some other tracks on this album. 'Ready or not' and 'Writing on the Wall' for example, have a fuller sound. But 'Girls on the loose' is such a fun listen that it stands as one of the album's best tracks nevertheless.
Unfortunately Riggs would just become one of those bands that managed to release one album before disappearing. This is such a shame as this debut was a very promising start.
The album's hard to find and, as far as I know, it was not re-released in CD fomat. I think you'll have more chance tracking down the soundtrack of the 'Heavy Metal' movie (the first one, not 'Heavy Metal 2000'). That might actually be a better deal than this Riggs-album anyway, for not only does it contain their best track 'Radar Rider', it also contains excellent material by other 80's Rock and Hard Rock bands (there's actually only one Metal band on it, so don't expect to hear a lot of Heavy stuff). The two smooth Soft Rock contributions of Don Felder especially are impressive.