The Red, White and Black [Alternative Tentacles]

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All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
The BellRays turn in another batch of searing soul-punk moments on Red, White and Black. While they're led by the throaty, nearly unchecked vocal rip of Lisa Kekaula -- whose vocals seem to ricochet off the considerable chip on her shoulder -- the other spectacular thing about this record is Tony Fate's absolutely amazing clutch of guitar tones. His rig is urgent Thin Lizzy/Kiss sludge on the mellow menace of "Used to Be," but it crackles with immediacy for the bristling Detroit-style rocker "Street Corner," or during the mid-album standout "Sister Disaster." The BellRays hit everything on time (including your jaw), which gives even their more workmanlike moments an ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
The BellRays turn in another batch of searing soul-punk moments on Red, White and Black. While they're led by the throaty, nearly unchecked vocal rip of Lisa Kekaula -- whose vocals seem to ricochet off the considerable chip on her shoulder -- the other spectacular thing about this record is Tony Fate's absolutely amazing clutch of guitar tones. His rig is urgent Thin Lizzy/Kiss sludge on the mellow menace of "Used to Be," but it crackles with immediacy for the bristling Detroit-style rocker "Street Corner," or during the mid-album standout "Sister Disaster." The BellRays hit everything on time (including your jaw), which gives even their more workmanlike moments an enviable zing. A turn toward squelchy, angry, and wildly shifting punk rock poetry on "Poison Arrow" works Black Flag-wonders in Kekaula's hands -- in another's it would simply be overwrought. Let's say it again: she's an absolutely amazing vocalist, checking everyone from Arthur Lee and Tina Turner to Mick Collins, whose band the Dirtbombs are fellow travelers of the BellRays. "You're Sorry Now" brings in some backing vocals for its freaked-out, '60s garage revivalism; its melody returns later in the album for a brooding piano revisit. Late in the album, "Voodoo Train" busts through the station wall. Its extended beginning is like the thrum of a faraway locomotive, before Kekaula lays it down -- "Well I feel like Satan and I'll tell you why" -- and the thing lurches into bluesy, punky overdrive. It might be the strongest thing on the record, since it effortlessly combines the past and present, anger and love, rousing vocals and roundhouse-rattling electric guitar. Is that blood on your lip? You must've bit through it a few songs ago. [Red, White and Black came complete with six additional, downloadable tracks, the better to make your computer bleed, too.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/18/2005
  • Label: Alternative Tentacle
  • UPC: 721616032529
  • Catalog Number: 325

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The BellRays Primary Artist
Tony Fate Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals
Bob Vennum Bass, Percussion, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Lisa Kekaula Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals, I'Pu
Eric Allgood Percussion, Drums, Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Tony Fate Composer, Producer, Graphic Design, Audio Production
The BellRays Composer, Engineer, Creation
Bob Lanzner Mastering
Bob Vennum Producer, Audio Production
Lisa Kekaula Liner Notes
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