The mighty BellRays have once again reared their collective heads and let fly 13 tracks of some bombastic, scathing rock’n’roll. Let me tell you, kids, this is a pretty welcome addition to the playlist at the Alvarado/Perez‑Villalta household. Karla (my girlfriend) is not especially punk‑friendly, but the Bell Rays is one of few bands that she not only tolerates but actively encourages the listening of on a regular basis (the Descendents and early Bad Brains being a couple of others). Of course, we still have our disagreements about who we hear traces of in their music (she says either a meeting of Jimi Hendrix and Tina Turner, or Angela Davis set to music, but I think she’s high, because it’s patently clear that what she’s hearing is an MC5/Aretha Franklin hybrid, but I digress), and these discussions usually get pretty heated when they’re coupled with a game of Scrabble (I do not make up words! “Git” does exist! Sod the dictionary!). While we may disagree on the irrelevant particulars, we do agree that the Bell Rays are one of the best groups that rock’n’roll in the new millennium has to offer, even if listening to them at excessive volumes causes your ears to bleed. I hear through the grapevine that they’re going through a bad patch right now, and I hope that they are able to come through it relatively unscathed, ’cause losing this band would be the equivalent of losing a lung for any fan of loud music.
–jimmy (Upper Cut)