After a slew of albums with hardcore punk stalwarts Good Riddance and later with Only Crime, Russ Rankin is now releasing his first solo full-length. The idea stemmed from a time when he found himself with a bunch of songs and no band that suited the material. Rather than abandoning those songs, Rankin went for a solo delivery. With a little help from Lagwagon’s Joey Cape, who offered him an opening slot on a couple of his shows, Ranking quickly found his feet facing a crowd on his own.
With Paper + Plastick backing him, Rankin then went on to record what has become “Farewell Catalonia”. It’s basically a collection of rock songs that happen to be played acoustically. Opener “Pushing Daisies” and “American Amnesia” are just two of the catchy tracks that address the same topics as most Good Riddance albums (politics and relationships). So it doesn’t take a great leap of the imagination to picture these songs with distorted guitars and a beefed up rhythm section. Then again, it’s a bit harsh to label “Farewell Catalonia” as a collection of acoustic Good Riddance songs. It doesn’t help though that the album lacks variation making this a somewhat enjoyable solo offering that’s not entirely convincing.