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Review: 'Black, Frank'
'The Cult Of Ray'   

-  Label: 'Demon Records'
-  Genre: 'Nineties' -  Release Date: '19.2.21.'-  Catalogue No: 'DEMREC849'

Our Rating:
This is the second album in Demon Records current schedule to re-issue all of Frank Black's solo albums on 140 gram vinyl in this case it's sky blue for his legendary second solo album Cult Of Ray from 1996 as well as being backed by the musicians who would become to be known as The Catholics along with Franks little helpers Jon Tiven and Eric Drew Feldman that can only be a recommendation by itself.

The A-side of Cult Of Ray opens with squalling feedback leading into The Marsist that has all the hallmarks of Black Francis old band The Pixies but with the guitars doing all sorts of odd things squiggling and distorting while the lyrics are a sort of love song but not quite with some interesting stops and starts.

Men In Black fizzes and burns with angst and in no way sounds like any of the Men In Black films, although he does sound like he's worried about what that man in black might do to him, as that guitar rages away, as it becomes catchier, while the guitars distort, as they worry about what they film on that camcorder.

He takes a trip down to Punk Rock City a place that sounds rather downbeat and down at heel look at how you could end up going to Punk Rock City as he takes aim at the commodification of the subculture its affectionate and a great slightly off the wall Cle-punk style party tune that should be played at punk festivals everywhere.

You Ain't Me is a propulsive ride to the destination of being happy You Ain't Frank Black or Black Francis, no he's the one and only, which is why it's covered in his signature sound and is great with the odd lyrical breakdowns and metronomic drums with the guitars almost scattered on top of them.

Jesus Was Right is a good catholic rock song that sounds like a good raging street preacher blues that brooks no argument of course Jesus Was Right as by that point he'd obviously been seen dancing at Pixies gigs in London, oh not that Jesus.

I Don't Want To Hurt You (Every Single Time) is a reasonably straight ahead indie love song about trying not to screw up all the time, or fall into depravity once more.

The B-side opens with Mosh, Don't Pass The Guy it is obviously the song to go mental to at gigs an urgent rush to chase around a pit too as the band vamp it up.

Kicked In The Taco is almost as great a song as song title, as we find out where when and how Frank got Kicked In The Taco it made his guitar howl in agony, no gentle weeping here more full on screams for his Tapas special.

The Creature Crawling is a slow western grunge ballad as we find out how and where that creature is crawling and we can then decide how worried we should be about it.

The Adventure And The Resolution starts off like they are trying to re-work Gimme Shelter and have decided to add a little almost prog guitar to take it in another direction as it breaks down and dives off into another dimension or two, that's perfect to howl the chorus of Gimme Shelter over.

Dance War is kind of disco dancing versus Slam dancing and is probably as much about what he could see going on at gigs as mass almost brawls and fights dressed up as a mosh pit unfolds to the sort of song that would be perfect to crowd surf too.

The Cult Of Ray is a typical askew indie grunge monster of a tune everything you'd want from a Frank Black tune as they melt lyrically and musically as that rock turns into metal on this absurdist observational disjointed obliquely poetic song.

The album closes with The Last Stand Of Shazez Andleeb that is a tear jerking real life tale of an immigrant kid getting beaten to death by six of the pupils at Narbonne High School in Los Angeles, a terrible story, that needs to be heard about, so we can try to overcome the pointless hatred that led to his needless death. A quite brilliant piece of writing and music a very potent way to close the album, while helping to keep Shazeb Andleeb's memory alive.

Find out more at http://smarturl.it/FrankBlackCultOfRay https://www.facebook.com/msrblackfrancis

  author: simonovitch

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