Bellrays  - NME – July 2011

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Bellrays   @Satellite – Silverlake Los Angeles  2011

The Bellrays are an old school act still hitting it with the middle schoolers -  remaining buoyant in the sometimes questionably revered Silverlake music scene - A cog in the wheel of  a bigger machine. 

The Bellrays recount a majestic history of diehard independence. Surviving amidst  an orgy of monopolies, tyrants,  and incestuous lackies. Their garage gospel permeates another dimension, above the  whitebread, agents  draconian directors  and metrosexual manipulators.

Defying this mire of dysfunction,  these seasoned LA garage  rockers just bring  it as they say in their hood – or at least some of them do.

A  slick foursome of adrenalin fuelled musicians , big on melody and  guitar effrontery,  The Bellrays have a well oiled routine. One clocked by many performances and rehearsal hours  that proudly predates belated orange county cheese or clotheshorse hipsterism.

Theirs is a land of clear throated, hard truckin roadtripping. Miles away from poncing auteurs , reality television,  indy bands. DIY muffins and  cheesball relics –chugging hard while the empire crumbles, the gay soldiers queue and the DUI police clock overtime -

Ok the good bits --- a lot of material from their most recent release Black Lightning 2010. Some flawless guitar antics from  Bob Vennum  as always and  purely and simply a marathon effort of  quality playing

Weird that despite such fierce music the crowd were predominantly  a gaggle of old blokes , with the exception of the drummers housekeeper and this somnambulistic dandy bored with the postman wait.  Why ? Probably the holiday weekend  ( July 4th)  exodus  which  dictated a crowd  that resembled a cross between a bachelor night at a rifle range and a truck drivers wake.

Still despite the dire gender  bias the vocal excellence of Lisa Kekaula prevailed, bringing in a house load of femininity and more black maternal soul   than a faith healing housemother  doing stunt stand in for Foxy Brown – bring it mofo.

Craig Stephens