Riff Randells are an all-female Canadian punk trio from Vancouver, British Columbia, formed in 1999 by Kathy Camaro (vocals/guitar) and Anne-Marie (drums). Various bass players, over the years, have filled out Riff Randells‘ line-up. The band’s name is taken from the character of Riff Randell (P. J. Soles), the biggest Ramones fan at Vince Lombardi High School, in the movie Rock ‘N’ Roll High School (1979) with the Ramones. And, like Riff Randell, the character, Riff Randells, the band, love the Ramones. But, they also cite Joan Jett, Nikki and the Corvettes and The Bobbyteens as influences, too. Riff Randells play infectious bubblegum punk, sugary but not too sweet, with lyrics about love, bad boys and broken hearts.
After several singles, Riff Randells released their excellent EP, “Lethal Lipgloss” (2002), which served up addictive three-chord punk in cool tracks like “C’Mon,” “Heartbreaker”, and, my favorite, “Psycho Boyfriend.” In the title track, jealous Kathy tells the boys lusting after the hot new girl, “You just got to chillax!” Love that. And, on the subsequent EP Parties Are My Favourite (2004), the band makes Toni Basil’s 1982 hit “Mickey” listenable, even cool. But, the rest of that EP was just OK.
However, Riff Randells‘ first full-length album, Doublecross (2007) was, like Lethal Lipgloss, awesome goodness. In “All I Know,” Kathy tells us: “All I know / (All she knows) / All I know is how to rock & roll.” Then, she proves it with great tracks like “Traitor Of The Heart,” “Nothing Without Me,” “The Only One” and, my favorite, “When You Go.” “Bandana” is a cool cover of a song orginally by The Little Girls, an ’80s new wave band from San Fernando Valley. Riff Randells love them, too. Finally, in “Gotta Move On,” the last track, Kathy sings, “We worked / We tried / So hard / We gotta move on now,” and they haven’t released anything else since!
Watch this video of Riff Randells performing Nikki and the Corvettes‘ “Girls Like Me” live in Slovenia here:
And, watch Joey Ramone serenading Riff Randell (P. J. Soles) in Rock ‘N’ Roll High School here:
Riff Randells Discography
2000 – “Riff Randells” (Mint) [7″]
2000 – “Who Says Girls Can’t Rock” (Mint) [7″]
2001 – “How ‘Bout Romance?” (Lipstick) [7″]
2001 – “Riff Randells” (Delmonico) [7″/EP]
2002 – Lethal Lipgloss (Alien Snatch!) [10″/EP]
2003 – “Lethal Lipgloss” (No Dancing) [7″]
2004 – Parties Are My Favourite (Peachy Doll) [EP]
2007 – Doublecross (Dirtnap) [Album]