Review: The Ray Mann Three (Album, 2008)

There’s a purity to an “unrefined” track… This album is smooth and rounded as well as being raw and untamed…

Album review by Karin Green

When Ray Wassef (the long time lead guitarist of Sydney outfit Kid Confucious) decided to go out on his own, he managed to find bassist Byron Luiters (now of John Butler Trio) and drummer Bart Denaro. This self titled album was recorded over three days. They have extensively toured Australia for the last 5 years and received the attention of the Japanese Record P-Vine, who they released an album through in 2009 with Grant Gerathy on drums and Joel Burton/Adam Ventoura intermittently on bass.

In “Hook Me Up” the opening bass gets my attention (this seems to be a growing trend), the stop-start catchy-ness with the down scales and addition of the picky electric. And I can’t forget the cow bell.. It also has some interesting lyrical content, i had to listen to it a few times to actually grasp. The evolution of technology and its implementation into society, and us, being the possessive monsters that human are, must always have the latest and greatest. Its well disguised, wrapped into a funky little tune.

The opening re-verb in “Feels So Good” is gorgeous. They have also used directional sound really well on this track. It opens with the chorus, which I find most unusual. They have the ability to surprise me, and I like it. The lyrics are suggestive to a one night stand (or what should have been), and of crossing moral “lines in the sand”, “but it feels so good” to be bad once in a while. I like that all members contribute to the vocals. The ending is disappointing tho, its picks up tempo and gets a little funkier, then abruptly ends!

Opa Opa. A song that can improve my mood at any time. The simple opening, just the vocals and percussion, the catchy call back. Then the real body of the song kicks in with a tempo change and the addition of the electric and bass. My favourite line has got to be “Is it because you wanted Han Solo but only ever got Chewbacca?”. I like how they portray themselves in this track, just as having fun. There is an honesty that comes with laughter. There’s a purity to an “unrefined” track.

Musically and lyrically, i have my eye on “I Can See It All Before Me”. “Stop trying to look around, close my eyes and follow the sound. I can see it all before me”. Its just a dreamy and heartfelt line. The track has a tone of realisation. It easy to listen to, and just be. I find it difficult to analyse as i tend to get lost in it somewhat. My top track from this album.

This album is smooth and rounded as well as being raw and untamed. It has a sensuality to it, that comes from Rays vocals and the musical honesty that emanates from its being. I’m yet to hear any of their newer tracks but I’m eagerly looking forward to that experience.
Also see this sort interview with Ray about their growth and reception.

Source: On The Button
Monday, October 18, 2010

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