Formerly a member of the Hellhounds and the Untouchables, Atlanta's Tommy Rivers makes his truly brilliant mark on the world with his solo debut, Tommy Rivers and the Raw Ramps. It's amazing that Rivers is not a huge star -- his first album may be gritty and decidedly lo-fi, but like Keith Richards fronting Big Star, Rivers carries the torch for anglophilic Southern bands with a thing for the Beatles and the Faces. Rivers lacks the syrupy voice of a young Alex Chilton, but a few of the songs -- the catchy melancholy number "Christmas Time Is Cruel" and "'Til the Holes Are All Gone" -- could have fit perfectly on #1 Record. There are a few forgettable tunes on the album, like the Beatles-inspired psychedelic cut "Rip out the Sky" and the rough-around-the-edges rocker "Busy Getting Over You," but the good material is so good that it is no matter. If the best tracks on Tommy Rivers and the Raw Ramps are any indication, Rivers' sophomore album should be spectacular.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano