Ray, Rick - Atomic Soldiers

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Neurosis Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 60:50:00

Over the past few months, I've been following the musical journey of one Ohio based guitarist named Rick Ray. Atomic Soldiers' is one of the last three received, and together they complete the collection (so far). There really isn't much more to say about Rick Ray that hasn't already been said in the past reviews, as Atomic is more of the same, or the start of the same. It's hard to tell the sequence in which the nine disks were recorded, there only being a few date references. This one does tell us it was recorded between April and May of 1999 ? which makes it some of the earliest, non-Riot Act material so far (I believe).

Much of the material on Atomic sounds like the material on the other disks - so much so, that in a blind listening test, you probably couldn't guess which album the track was on. Whether Ray has a conservative agenda here or is just pointing out the paranoia of those with a conservative agenda, I can't say. Nor do I want to dwell to much into the politics that is far too apparent on "The Plan" - topically, it's about the "threat" of a New World Order, using sound-bites of some speaker who sounds all too familiar (Pat Buchanan, perhaps? I really don't know). I know I'm cynical enough to think they're both right and wrong ... and no, I won't explain that.

Rick Schultz guests again with his clarinet. He plays well, but he is often out of place. Here it seems to have more to do with mixing than arrangement, as his instrument rides very high in the mix. As usual, it is Ray on everything else, including vocals. Ray does have a sense of humour - the opening track is entitled "The Daulhowz Concerto" which includes these movements: "Dolly The Parton," "Salvadore The Dolly," "Dolly The Lama," "Dolly The Clone," and "Barbie The Dolly"

This, like most of his catalogue, is just okay. No jibe against Studio G, where most, if not all, of these albums have been produced and mixed, nor against Ray who has done the producing and mixing, but with better production, these could really shine. A compilation CD of the best material, remixed, would be one hell of a disk. Maybe if a label could invest a little money in just such a project?

Anyway, overall, Ray's stuff is worth checking out, but Atomic Soldiers isn't the strongest of his releases.

The Daulhowz Concerto (11:33) / Bloppy Stuff (Part IV) (4:01) / Dancing On The Killing Floor (11:27) / Put Your Ears On (3:13) / The Organ Harvester (4:59) / Atomic Soldiers (6:19) / The Jokes On Me (8:27) / The Plan (5:24) / Victim Of The Times (5:27)

Rick Ray - guitars, bass, percussion, RX8, vocals, and keyboards
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: Rock

Origin US

Added: March 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.rickray.net
Hits: 740
Language: english


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