Rays: You Can Get There From Here
Oakland band Rays return with their second album, You Can Get There From Here, their first release since their eponymous Trouble In Mind debut in 2016. You Can Get There From Here represents a turning point for the band, angling their scrappy, post-punk fury into a more refined & melodic pop sensibility, drawing inspiration from UK DIY pop & punk like Dolly Mixture, Cleaners From Venus& Television Personalities. Songs like "Fallen Stars" & "The Garden" temper their sonic crunch ever so slightly, relying more on the harmonic wallop of a solid hook than the sheer volume of guitars. This is urgent, chiming guitar pop that clangs with a sonorous melancholy & a ramshackle grace. Rays can still lay it down with the rest of 'em; tunes like "Subway" &"Work of Art" shuffle & stumble forward, skirting chaos in a flurry of strums, recalling antipodean groups like UV Race or Dick Diver who cull inspiration from idiosyncratic UK greats like Mark E. Smith or Robyn Hitchcock. The new album findsthe core group of Stanley Martinez, Eva Hannan, Troy Hewitt & Alexa Pantalone augmented by new member & keyboardist Britta Leijonflycht, whose synth flourishes add melodic embellishments, sonic heft or psychedelic swirl where needed.