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The Red, White and Black by The Bellrays

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Reviewed on 1st October 2003.


The Red, White and Black

By The Bellrays

The down and dirty bass guitar riff of "Remember" kicks off this second Poptones offering from The Bellrays before some rolling drums interrupt proceedings along with strangled guitar for company and then we're off into a rifftastic headlong dash to the chorus. It's a tune that could be ultra cool if it kept this up but we go back to the overindulgence that peppers and ultimately hampers this albums appeal as a whole. Later on "Poison Arrow" proves itself to be the worst culprit.

Lisa Kekaula's voice is fantastic though and her throaty soul growl gives extra legs to the hard rocking tunes that owe as much to AC/DC ("Street Corner") as they do to Gospel ("Find Someone To Believe In"). "Sister Disaster" is yet another riff heavy song that has your head struggling to resist the urge to nod along with the beat. Fans of harder Black Crowes material may find a certain gap in their lives filled by the blues tinged heavy rock and everybody should be drawn to Kekaula's rich tones. It's a fine old fashioned rock and roll album that belts along at breakneck speed with the drums and bass pummelling your ears into submission as the guitar howls along and vocals roar louder than them all.

The bass heavy "Used To Be" adds a splash of funky guitar and a descending melody as a break from the 100mph tempo before the aforementioned "Find Someone To Believe In" cranes its neck out as the standout track with its gospel influenced vocal and harmonies. If church was this cool we'd all be there every day! There's plenty here of quality to keep you from being disappointed but there are too many moments not quite as brilliant as the last that keep this from being a 'must have'.



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