Friday, April 1, 2016

Cassette Review: The Rayguns "Never Been To California" (ZyNg tapes)

[£4.10 // Edition of 30 //]

If you read enough of what I write about music you'll likely find a successful formula to becoming a rock n roll band.   I've said on many occasions that if you go back to the 1950's and pull influences from then up until now, well, that would give you nearly seventy years of music to draw your comparisons from.    The fact that so many artists want to be one singular artist or from one singular moment in time is crazy to me and The Rayguns show you that if you use this vast body of music to your advantage you can create an appealing sound which also sounds new.

At first the fuzzy rock n roll of The Rayguns reminds me of Blink 182, but back when I was actually listening to them which would be "Dude Ranch" era and before (Yes, they had albums before "Dude Ranch").   This brings about thoughts of the Misfits, who I didn't really get into until after Danzig left and so I always think of them without him.  (Sorry Misfits-purists or whatever)    As much as this is punk rock, there comes a bit of Dynamite Hack in here as well, which is just that tongue-in-cheek fuzz I love so much.

Combining the bands I already mentioned might be enough for some people and it certainly would be for me, but then I also hear some Ten Foot Pole in here and even T.S.O.L.    And it's not that The Rayguns are all over the place it's just that they've found a combination of influences which work together and have pulled off something which has that underlying factor to it but still remains a sound their own.    It's like how strawberries are not the same as strawberry cheesecake.

A song like "Let It Out" can actually be really catchy and that's just one of the other benefits of listening to The Rayguns is that despite all of the other artists I can hear coming out in here, The Rayguns somehow manage to make their songs the type which get stuck in your head, something a lot of punk bands which came before them couldn't do.  (And again, I'm referring to older Blink 182 and not the overly annoying newer songs which you want to be gone from your head)

I'm not sure how you craft songs like this as they seem to be opposites in that way (They should be catchy or punk, but not both) but The Rayguns pull it off with style and I defy you to not sing along with these songs.

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