Suck It Up
From the opening chord of the combustible cover of Steve Earle's 'Guitartown' it's apparent that this Ricasso album is an unrestrained return to old school rock'n'roll. Suck It Up was recorded using the Trash Icons, his 2004/2005 touring outfit, after a healthy regiment of nightclubs, one - nighters and festivals. The result is a leaner attack, recorded mostly 'off the floor' with Ricasso's long time confederate Lou Fontaine's explosive drumming as the propellant. Ricasso turned the producing duties over to Regina's David J. Taylor for this outing. This allowed him to enjoy the sessions and help fuel the energy and that has not gone unnoticed. The title track was as a regional winner of the Radio Star National Songwriting Competition as part of Canada Music Week before the album was released. A weird twist to the story: this is the second time this has happened! Ricasso's last effort Pollution contained a track that received the award before it's official release as well. The song 'Bipolar' won ROCK102's National Songwriting Competition in 2003. It has since earned critical recognition and air-play on commercial radio and charted across Canada at college stations. It was a television clip of the Beatles at Shea Stadium that first attracted a young Ricasso (a.k.a.) Greg Hargarten to rock'n'roll. Hooked by this early image, he dug back into the work of artists that had influenced the genre over the decades, listening to the likes of Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochrane, The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols and The Clash in his formative years. Although his tastes have come to include contemporary artists as well, he has remained addicted to the form and it's rebellious nature ever since. In fact the name Ricasso, sort of a rock'n'roll version of one of his favorite painters, was adopted to keep him out of the principle's office for his graffiti art. After High School, Ricasso began drumming with numerous rock and pop bands whose prime objective was to eek out a meager living and in the spirit of Rock'n'Roll, out-party the locals in every watering hole in the from Vancouver to Winnipeg. Some of the exploits may (or may not) have been legendary and although they made for some great road stories, he eventually returned to Saskatoon where his focus changed from drumming to songwriting.