Review: The Bellrays

The Bellrays
“Raw Collection”
(Upper Cut Records)

“Punk and soul” is the best way to describe the music from this soul-styling, punked-up rock band. This retrospective is subtitle “A collection of 7″, 8″, compilation tracks and occasional stray dogs from 1995 to 2002.” These “odds and sods” typify a muscular, serpentine blend of the emotive (soul) and explosive (punk). Rather than try to mollify this dynamic blend with nicey-nice vocals, lead vocalist Lisa Kekaula deals it out just as unrestrained as the rest of the quartet. Her husky delivery moves this band into the arena of the early, ’60’s Detroit-Ann Arbor rock-n-soul of MC5, The Rationals and The Up. Take “maximum R&B” of The Who’s Live at Leeds crossed with The Stooges Fun House and you have an idea of what “Raw Collection” is.