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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing change from the rest
Having seen the video for "They glued your head upside down" I noticed one of the members was wearing a Small Faces shirt. This is almost noticeable in their music, the combination of soul/motown mixed with guitars but with there amps all cranked up to the max! think like Aretha Franklin fronting the Stooges or something. All in all it makes for a refreshing...
Published on 12 July 2002 by thegigoloaunt

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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old Music, New Slant, Same Afro
The BellRays are typical of a band that should, by rights, not exist. That is, a woman with dulcet soul in her, well, soul fronting an ugly (see the picture on the back if you don't believe me), all-out rock band. Such a formula has not been tested since Cher's attempts to woo the rock faithful with her awful 80s leather outfits...
Well, to be honest that was my...
Published on 11 July 2002 by Jim Barker


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing change from the rest, 12 July 2002
This review is from: Meet The BellRays (Audio CD)
Having seen the video for "They glued your head upside down" I noticed one of the members was wearing a Small Faces shirt. This is almost noticeable in their music, the combination of soul/motown mixed with guitars but with there amps all cranked up to the max! think like Aretha Franklin fronting the Stooges or something. All in all it makes for a refreshing change amongst the barrage of detroit punk revival bands. Don't miss out on The BellRays!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Play this very loudly, 4 Dec 2002
By 
Mr. S. N. Barton "Dirkfrangipan" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Meet The BellRays (Audio CD)
Spend an hour with this cd playing loudly and you will feel great. This music makes you want to join a band. The blues-soul-punk stomp is fantastic. Blues for Godzilla makes you need to shout in anger happiness and excitement all at the same time. Hurrah Hurah for the BellRays. even when the band descend in to emo-ish guitar riffs that vaguely irritate the mind Lisa Kekaulas voice quickly remindsa you while you are listening to it and why you love it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bellrays...Weird but amazing!, 5 Feb 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Meet The BellRays (Audio CD)
The Bellrays CD Meet the Bellrays made up of the two previously released albums from the states is an incredible album. It has some weird sections where your left thinking they belong in "Jazz Club", but go on listen some more. It's brilliant! They glued your head on upside down, will get you out of the chair and jumping around the room before you know what your doing. An epic album, from an extraordinary band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tina Turner meets The Stooges, 6 Aug 2002
By 
Mr. M. L. Hawes "Mitchmusic" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Meet The BellRays (Audio CD)
Imagine that. The strength of singing of Tina Turner versus the raw power of the Stooges. Well, that just about sums up the Bellrays vision for musical supremacy.
Meet The Bellrays is a compilation of two previous recordings and it is as raw and vital a garage record as you could wish for.
The key element with their sound is the classic combination of big lead vocals against hard hitting backing tracks. Highlights definately are 'Fire On The Moon' and 'They Put Your Head On Upside Down', a killer single, if ever I heard one!
A vital addition to anyones garage/soul music collection and I cant wait to hear them when they get a decent producer!
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars McGee works his magic, 9 May 2002
This review is from: Meet The BellRays (Audio CD)
Once again, the finger of McGee is pointed with delight at a noisemaking group. "Oh look! A cool band that no-one's ever heard of!" This is how stars are made these days.
The BellRays (and that capital R is really irritating, I know) are basically all about Tony Fate's mammoth guitar and Lisa Kekaula's gritty bawl. Things take a bit of a more relaxed, Eric Burdon-style turn on "Blue Cirque", but for the rest of the time, expect punk/soul rockouts like the inexplicable "They Glued Your Head On Upside Down" and "Blues for Godzilla" - the best song about Godzilla since American Music Club's "What Godzilla Said to God When His Name Wasn't Found in the Book of Life". Look out for the secret track - entirely unlabeled on the CD sleeve - and the shambolic opening to "Under the Mountain", which then explodes into soulpunk fury.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old Music, New Slant, Same Afro, 11 July 2002
This review is from: Meet The BellRays (Audio CD)
The BellRays are typical of a band that should, by rights, not exist. That is, a woman with dulcet soul in her, well, soul fronting an ugly (see the picture on the back if you don't believe me), all-out rock band. Such a formula has not been tested since Cher's attempts to woo the rock faithful with her awful 80s leather outfits...
Well, to be honest that was my first thought. But in today's anything-goes-so-you-might-as-well-put-up-with-it world, the BellRays nearly pull it off.
Another of Poptones' rather heretical patch-up jobs of previous works, Meet The BellRays has all the subtlety of a elephant stampede. To put it mildly, this album is LOUD (and, coincidentally, must be played as such to gain full appreciation), scuzzy, raucous and sounds like it was made with all the studio technology that was available in their local scout hut (or whatever the American equivalent of that may be).
Draw comparisons with Detroit's MC5 if you must (and there are many - the Afro is only a little less impressive than Rob Tyner's, "Zero PM" sounds and feels like a tribute to "Motor City Is Burning"), but you've got to admire the guts of the BellRays to make perhaps the most anachronistic music of recent times. The kids, after all, like their machines, incoherent screaming, masks and depression. For them, this hooks-a-plenty, no-nonense aural assault will send them diving for cover behind their Slipknot posters.
So to the album. Luckily, there are some cracking tracks to justify the hype - "Too Many Houses...", "Killer Man" and especially single "They Glued Your Head On Upside Down" are all garage cuts par excellence - killer choruses, stomach-churning guitars a-plenty. The rest, however, is pretty much by-the-by and, to be honest, pins their influences to the mast. Indeed, singer Lisa's voice is so high up in the mix that the rest of the band might as well have stuck to their day jobs...
Another failure of the album lies in its format. Like with The Hives and The Cardigans (who were admittedly not on Poptones) before them, a hotch-potch of
choice (!) picks never does a band justice. You get no idea of creative progression, musical development and so on. Mind you, I'm a bit of a pedanticist, so maybe that's just me...
In a way, you can't wanting to like The BellRays for their devil-may-care attitude for making music that has little or no place in today's materialistic music marketplace. Yes, The White Stripes managed it, but never have a band been so eager to nail their one-band influence to the mast (apart from cover bands, obviously). I'm sure they're brilliant live, but on record their appeal is somewhat stagnant. Good luck to 'em, though - I'd love to be proved wrong...
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