Download: "California Dreamer"
Hard Sweet & amp; Sticky
The great garage-y soul sounds of the Bellrays remain on the band's latest offering, but the previous rough edges have been smoothed down and streamlined into a genuinely solid pop album. A great deal of the credit goes to vocalist Lisa Kekaula and her ability to add layers of depth to the band's fierce guitar-driven ditties.
"Infection," one of the early tracks on the album, grinds and crunches along in an uninspired manner -- that is, until Kekaula steps forward and gives the song its true identity: a song of pain and angst that transcends its easy rock trappings. "Coming Down" succeeds for the same reasons. Longtime fans might furrow their brows at the softer touches here, and that would be fair. But it is clear that the band has stumbled across something that resonates more deeply. The Bellrays can still generate the decibels when necessary. Take note.
-- CAREY MURPHY
Download: "Psychotic Hate Man"