The BellRays

Grand Fury

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Known for their high-powered stage performances, the BellRays did the smart thing and recorded their second CD, Grand Fury, live in their rehearsal space (as they have previously). In the process, they produced a real rock & roll record, warts 'n' all. To get an idea what the BellRays are all about, imagine if Tina Turner had left Ike back in 1972 to front the MC5, or picture Aretha Franklin subbing for a too-stoned-to-sing Iggy Pop in the Stooges, circa 1969. Comparisons may sell them short, though, as they take their influences to another level entirely; no one sounds quite like the BellRays. "Too Many Houses in Here," "Screwdriver," and "Snake City" (an actual concert recording) are all get-up-and-go rockers that would put most so-called punkers to shame, while the fast and heavy sludge riffs of "Monkey House" and "Warhead" recall vintage Black Sabbath. Grand Fury has its share of hooks as well, with "They Glued Your Head on Upside-Down" and "Stupid Fuckin' People" standing out from the pack. The dynamic "Zero P.M.," a song dealing with racism and the spiritual reprisals that await the perpetrators, possesses a steady intensity before exploding into the punk stratosphere. "Have a Little Faith in Me," a song with so much soul that James Brown himself would stop and take notice, is a welcome comedown in the midst of the BellRays' (b)all(s)-out punk, gospel, and rock & roll fury.

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