Finally it's here! After many years, the repress arrived. This time how it
was supposed to be. With new cover artwork and newly mixed songs.
It's a rare but exhilarating occasion when you put on a new LP and are
utterly blown away by what you hear. Every now and then, music makes
you feel magically alive -- makes you want to jump around, pound your fist
in the air, and shout "Oh, yeah!" Listening to Grand Fury, the second major
release by Los Angeles quartet the Bellrays, is such an experience. Imagine
the Funhouse-era Stooges fronted by a female R&B singer instead of Iggy
Pop, and you'll have a vague understanding of what the Bellrays call
"maximum rock 'n' soul". Although they've drawn comparisons to the
Stooges or the MC5 fronted by Tina Turner, Etta James, or Aretha Franklin,
the Bellrays rightly point out that soul was an important element in those
Detroit-area punks' sounds. So, in some ways, the Bellrays are just
bringing out an element of early punk music that was there all along.
Nonetheless, the resulting sound is startlingly unique.
Lead singer Lisa Kekaula has also sung jazz, and it's obvious she has
technical skill, but she tears into these songs with a venom and passion
that is pure rock 'n' roll. Bandmates Tony Fate, Bob Vennum, and Ray Chin
provide a raw, blues-edged backing that is loose enough to allow Kekaula
considerable room to go wild.
And does she ever. With her raucous voice and the aggressive songs
penned by guitarist Fate, Kekaula makes you believe she'd sooner spit in
your face than look at you....
TRACKLISTING: 01. TOO MANY HOUSES IN HERE 02. FIRE ON THE MOON
03. SNAKE CITY 04. SCREWDRIVER 05. EVIL MORNING 06. ZERO PM
07. STUPID FUCKING PEOPLE 08. HEAT CAGE 09. HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN
ME 10. MONKEY HOUSE 11. WARHEAD 12. UNDER THE MOUNTAIN
13. THEY GLUED YOUR HEAD ON UPSIDE DOWN