Ray, Rick - Abnormal Road

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:40:00

I can neither tell you to get ahold of this disk immediately nor tell you to avoid it. Which is to say that I am not overwhelmed by this disk, nor am I off put. In a nutshell, it is well played rock with progressive tendencies. There is no one style, as Rick Ray's sound runs the gamut from Genesis to Rush, with guitar hints at Satriani, Vai, Lifeson, Bonilla ... others. Vocally, he made me think of latter day Alice Cooper (what came to mind was his popish hit "Poison" of several years back).

Unfortunately, while everything is well played, nothing sticks after the disk ends, except some general sense and feel. "American Streets" has a nice sound compositionally, but the percussion sounds very tinny, thin, and reedy. Fluttery keyboards buzz in for a moment with a "Flight Of The Bumblebee"-like quality about them, but then they flitter out again.

Ray plays all the instruments on this, his mostly instrumental ninth album, but you'd never guess it was so, since all the parts are put together well and have a cohesiveness more typical of a group setting.

"A Fine Predicament" to me sounds like Djam Karet, especially in the chiming yet distorted guitar tones. There is this same Rush meets Djam Karet feel in "Something A Little More Original" (ironically, I suppose).

Although familiar sounding, "No Air To Breathe" is a mostly a toe tapping rocker that has "sports clips background music" written over it, until the vocals begin. While the vocal effects aren't bad, this track would have been much better as a straight instrumental. There are, however, some rather annoying keyboard tones - tinny and too tightly wound.

Ray spaces out on "Sea Of Tranquility" with odd sonic effects - cosmic bubbles or laser blasts; both come to mind. Okay, here's the best image I can come up with - the Space Invaders video game, I can almost see those little ships coming down, row after row.

This is American rock with progressive leanings - good, worth hearing, but not essential.

Divided By Three (4:22) / Your Short Life (8:19) / American Streets (4:55) / Ed (Part 2) (4:16) / A Fine Predicament (3:18) / Ideas (3:42) / There's A Riot Outside (4:44) / Okay, Okay (0:04) / Something A Little More Original (5:43) / No Air To Breathe (4:39) / Sea of Tranquility (4:26) / Frankenstyle (3:07) / In The Real World (4:20) / Bloppy Stuff (Part 3) (3:03) / Bomb Day (7:33) / Incendiary Larry (3:09)

Rick Ray - guitar, guitar synth, bass, keyboards, percussion, RX8, vocals and /'strange electronic sounds/'
Rick Schultz - clarinet

Abnormal Road (1999)
Balance Of Power (1999)
The Great Antagonist (1999)
Clone Man (1999)
Atomic Soldiers (1999)
Neurotic Tendencies (1999)
You People (1999)
Looking Into the Past (1999)
The Key To The Bottomless Pit (1999)
Cast Into Our Dimension (2000)
Living In An Insane World (2000)
Mind Control, Inc. (2000)
Guitarsenal (2000)
Manipulated DNA (2001)
Insanity Flies (2001)
Existing Passages (2002)
The Guitarsonist (2002)
Rick Ray Band - Into The Hands Of Sinners (2003)
Rick Ray Band - Out Of The Mist Of Obscurity (2003)
Rick Ray Band - Night Of The Living Dedicated (2004)
Chainsaw Manicure (2005)
Rick Ray Band - Temporary World (2005)
Rick Ray Band - Nothing To Lose (2007)
Rick Ray Band - Violence Marred By Peace (2008)
Rick Ray Band - The Setlist (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 17th 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.rickray.net
Hits: 961
Language: english


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