RAYS are a fairly new addition to Oakland’s punk scene, bringing fresh wit and nostalgic riffs you can groove to. You can snag their record now via Trouble in Mind Records.
It would be shortsighted to categorize RAYS in one strain of punk because the band’s composition and lyrical boldness shies away from simplicity. Throughout the record, the microphone is passed back and forth between Eva Hannan (vocals, bass) and Stanley Martinez (vocals, guitar); Alexa Pantalone (drums, synth) and Troy Hewitt (guitar, synth) complete the quartet. All members have already left a mark on Oakland punk via their other groups such as The World, Life Stinks, Dadfag and Violent Change but that’s beside the point.
The record opens with a cool gust of saccharine jangles and soft wails in “Attic,” hits you on the head with the steadfast blunder half way through in “Made of Shadows,” and concludes with a breezy, slow-burning ode to west coast rock on “Over and Over.” The band emphasizes it’s heavy contemplation with mundanity while maintaining an escapist attitude in order to deal with the insufferable. “Drop Dead” spews out like an abstract stream of consciousness and “Theater of Lunacy” follows suit, but finds itself more entwined in catchy post punk twitches and whirls. It’s an exciting debut where extremities are set aside to allow for idiosyncrasies to take shape and warp you into the constantly shrinking and expanding world of RAYS.
Their self titled debut record is out now via Trouble in Mind Records (Omni, Negative Scanner).
You can catch them next Monday 4/17 at El Rio with Sediment Club (NY). Say “Carmen Miranda” at the door and the cover is only $3. 21+ only.
All images copyright © Julie Juarez