This self -titled album is the debut record from Bristol based country rockers Red Ray and the Reprobates. These self-described angry young men have produced an album they describe as a "righteous litany against the Sisyphean toil of life in an uncaring, neon world". If that sounds rather heavy, it is anything but.
The album has a real energy pervading throughout, with the marker set by the opening track Quicksand, a rock and roll foot stomper of a track. It's the perfect introduction to Ray Lannon's unique vocals, a kind of Nashville-upon-Tyne cider-soaked rock and roll drawl. The likes of Gone For Good and Fairly Average Brown make good use of his vocal talents, with fast paced tracks driven along by Jackson Jeff on drums. Not that the band are a one trick pony; The Runaround is a classic country track, and The Hunger is a slow and emotional number.
The highlight of the album comes early on with Daydream, with its slow build and wonderful melody. It also features possibly Lannon's strongest vocal performance. Living In Lies is another high point, very catchy and will have you nodding your head to it long after it's finished. Also worthy of mention are Fairly Average Brown and Hard Luck Barnaby, the latter an irreverent and amusing ditty with some fantastic piano work from Alex Bowers.
Red Ray and the Reprobates may once have been described as shambolic, but this is an assured debut album with a well-produced sound. While rock and roll and country feature prominently, there's a lot of influences, with hints of punk especially . Most of all this is simply good fun to listen to, from a band who clearly love to create music together.
|Roddy Woomble: The Deluder||Pilgrims' Way: Stand And Deliver|
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