The BellRays

Let It Blast

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AllMusic Review by Bob Gendron

The Bellrays' debut record is the stuff underground cult-band legends are made of. A vigorous mixture of Memphis soul, streetwise gospel, and L.A.-style punk, Let It Blast is a hungry, nakedly intense offering that simply obliterates anything that stands in its way. What truly sets it apart from the average do-it-yourself punk offering is vocalist Lisa Kekaula's gospel wail that sounds amazingly close to Aretha Franklin's God-praising shout. Recorded live onto a 6-track recorded in a 15 x 15 foot practice space, the sound of fingers and picks hitting guitar strings freely intermingle with bombastic rock & soul. A stammering, stamping, and jagged assault continues through "Get On Thru," the record's last track, one that substitutes guitar for piano on what seems to be a quick take of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti." Only a handful of records cross-pollinate musical styles as successfully and effortlessly as heard here. Echoes of the Stooges' automobile-factory stamping pound and James Brown's soulful revue constantly surface in the midst of catchy hooks and fuzzed-out bass. Aside from several annoying "future now" and "music for the next millenium" statements that arise at the end of a few tracks, there isn't much to criticize. As we picture amplifiers overheating and Kekaula leaping about the stage during the bursting "Blues for Godzilla," the song manages to say it all: Let It Blast is unscripted, frantic, and frightening - a classic punk undertaking by any standards.

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