THE DEVIL WRAYS - EARLY DAYS
The Devil Wrays – Early Days.
Released in: March 2022 as a 10 track C.D.
Reviewed on 5th May 2022 by: Dave Diamond
Vocals & Bass – Jim Wray
Drums – Iain Tovey
Guitar – Zac Osborn
Backing Vox – Jim
Produced and Mixed by – Alan Wilson - Western Star
Mastered by – Alan Wilson - Western Star
Distribution: Western Star Recording
Artwork by: Wayne Beauchamp
Too many influences to mention really – a lot of psychobilly, punk and garage outfits. In all honesty our influences changed daily! Our sound didn’t change much over the years although Dom definitely gave us a harder edge. Listen to Hard Times and judge for yourself!
Ok, Let’s have a listen to the tracks –
Blue Turns Black - and we’re off with a great guitar lick from Zac for the first 7 seconds then swiftly followed with Ian on drums/Jim on bass then another 5 seconds and in comes Jim with a growling vocal..great chorus and we’re back to another verse ..this track is moving along at a great pace! Nice breakdown section mid-way at 1:28, then boom we’re right back atcha!…Wow I’m hooked already…what an opener to kick start this debut album…I’m already getting blown away and it’s only been 2 minutes and 21 seconds folks!
Caught Up- A fantastic opening 33 seconds to this track which really showcases Iain’s drummin, Zac’s guitar work and Jim slappin’ that bass wow! This is a real powerhouse track with a stop at certain sections of the track, for sure a real dance floor filler, not for the faint hearted! You get a breather after 1 minute 50…then straight back into some very high octane rockin’…Love it!
Devil Wrays – Another high tempo number… great sounding and punchy rhythm stompin’ tune, more growling vocals from Jim…”you don’t know where you’re going or where you’ve been!” This one could be right from those early halcyon days of the neo rockin’ 80’s!
Disgrace-Yay! I was hoping for an instrumental to see what these guys are made of…you won’t be disappointed with this catchy tune….but hold onto your hats after 1 minute in comes the vocals…some really fab key changes on this number…really love Zac’s guitar solo on this one…real fast drumming from Ian and Jim going for it on the bass… phew this one leaves you outta breath and waiting in anticipation for the next tune!
Out Of Luck – real catchy number once again, would have loved to have seen this one played live! It’s a real ear worm of a tune, that keep on spinning around your head…breakdown section at 1:45 is really great with just guitar and hi-hat then boom in comes that slapping bass and drums…..Out Of Luck, Out of Time, Slip right down, cross that line… mid way on this 10 track cd…really digging this one!
Shake It – More of a 1960’s west coast garage tune, great guitar lick on this one from Zac, snap shot snare drum action from Iain and more echo on Jim’s vocals and a bass geetar too!… the dance floor is now moving and a grooving for sure. My fave track so far and a real head shaking, foot tapping tune!
Trouble – back to an up-tempo start to this track, but then after 25 seconds in..slows right down to the opening verse with a nice change to the floor tom.. …”I hear these voices in my head, I just can’t take it I’m better off dead!” then back straight to up-tempo then back down to the verse another fab instrumental break, then back to the catchy chorus…this songs got everything, a really well worked out song.
Voodoo Hands (alt) – Guitar starts again from Zac, nice drum roll in from Iain and stompin’ bass from Jim… could see this one being featured in a film, has a real fantastic raw sound and another great guitar lick.
Voodoo Hands – a higher end guitar lick on this version, same speed, more polished than the alt version, still a great tune, for me I prefer the alt mix, but both are great versions.
Wild Man Of The Navidad – Another catchy instrumental start to the final tune from this exciting C.D. then in comes vocals…he’s a wild man from Navidad and for sure people are disappearing…. They must be heading over to Western Star to order a copy of this 10 track album!
In their own words.
Zac - My memory’s a bit hazy but I think we formed around 2010 in Brighton. After some initial line up changes we became a three-piece and recorded these tracks. We gigged a fair amount locally and did a few gigs nationally including a Bedlam Breakout.
We were going to release this as an album with Western Star but had another line up change half way through, so until now, these have been in the Western Star vaults!
Iain moved from drums to second guitar and drum duties were taken on by Dom Parr. We decided to re-record the album with Dom which eventually came out on Western Star (called Hard Times) and archived these tracks. Alan decided to release them recently as they’re actually pretty good!
Most of the tracks here ended up on Hard Times with Dom. I can’t remember all the details regarding writing credits but I’m pretty sure Jim wrote all of the lyrics.
This album was recorded as a demo session, but was later re-recorded which mostly became
CLOSING COMMENTS ABOUT THE ALBUM:
Wow! 10 fantastic powerful tracks from this original line up of The Devil Wrays… If you like powerhouse rockin songs, you need to look no further than this new release from Western Star….
All the tracks have something different to them, yet keeping with that hot rockin’ neo feel and taking it to a very high octane standard.
I really loved the change of direction with the track Shake It and also the original tunes that have some fab lyrics and fantastic musical arrangements….
Don’t delay, hunt this album down and make sure you grab a copy and then tuen up the volume to the max!!
Reviewed by Dave Diamond
Blue Turns Black
Out Of Luck
Voodoo Hands (alt)
Wild Man Of The Navidad