Ray, Rick - Guitarsenal

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 69:06:00

After a flurry of releases beginning in 1999, Rick Ray released Guitarsenal in late September - early October, saying that it was his last for a while as he has returned to the live circuit. The focus here, as on previous Ray releases, is on his guitar playing (though, given the title, much more so). It's when he lets the guitar do the singing that his arrangements shine - as I've mentioned before, lyrically Ray sticks to the same basic rhythmic pattern, even if the subject matter is different. He is joined again by clarinetist Rick Schultz who this time also provides some bass.

"If I Had The Chance" is very Beatles-esque, where Ray even sounds a bit like both John Lennon and George Harrison, simultaneously. Of course, there's a rawness here that makes it feel more like a demo than a final product. It's not a complaint, though. Although Ray has had the benefit of a studio, this isn't something produced by, say, Terry Brown with Terry Brown like production values. Which isn't to suggest that it sounds cheap either, as, but for a bit of that fuzziness, this is otherwise a crystal-clear production. At least where Ray's guitars are concerned. "Mellow-D" is a good example of this, which is a terrific guitar only piece. "Taken Control" is rocker that speeds by like a freight train, except during the vocal parts. "The Atom Smasher" made me think of the early to mid-80's and some of the rock that was coming out at that time - Felony with "The Fanatic" particularly comes to mind. And a bit of Lennon again as there is a bit of the vocal rhythm of "The Ballad Of John and Yoko" here, too. Schultz' electric clarinet gets a chance to solo here, but as before, I'm not comfortable with the clarinet in this context. "Bottom Of The Heap" has a laid back groove not unlike Djam Karet's "Topanga Safari." It's not a clone of that track, but there is more than one point of intersection. Over this groove, Ray solos - mentally following along is a fun exercise.

"Money For Nothing" is a track that breaks the typical Ray mold, vocals-wise. Not just because the voice is altered via effects, becoming deeper, ominous, but because it seems the rhythmic pattern of the lyrics are different.

There is more variety here in the songs than on the last album, a mix between vocal and instrumental tracks that seems balanced right. The tracks that are more open, that breathe, are the instrumentals, of which "The Rendezvous" is one example.

Looking Into Your Eyes (4:32) / Same Here (4:04) / Taken Control (4:11) / The Rendezvous (4:33) / If I Had The Chance (4:50) / Mellow-D (3:19) / The Atom Smasher (6:45) / Bottom Of The Heap (3:57) / People Turn (4:28) / Nine Again (4:37) / Holding On To Hope (4:57) / Floating (3:56) / Terry The Duplicate (5:28) / It Was O.K. A Minute Ago (3:28) / Money From Nothing (5:01) / An Unexpected Moment (4:20)

Rick Ray - guitars, keyboards, vocals, percussion, bass, RX8
Rick Schultz - bass, clarinet, electric 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: Rock

Origin US

Added: January 1st 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.rickray.net
Hits: 503
Language: english


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