The BellRays

TrackAlbum
Revolution Get DownThe Red, White & Black
Black LightningBlack Lightning
Have A Little Faith In MeGrand Fury
Mine All MinePunk Funk Rock Soul Vol.1 EP
Zero PMGrand Fury
Voodoo TrainThe Red, White & Black
Fire On The MoonGrand Fury
I Don't Wanna CryPunk Funk Rock Soul Vol.1 EP
Blues For GodzillaLet It Blast
Stupid Fuckin' PeopleGrand Fury

The Bellrays photo 1

 

 

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BellRays playlist

 

 

 

Contributor: Ann Chambers

The BellRays were founded in Riverside, California in 1990 by Lisa Kekaula and Robert Vennum. They have been with several independent labels and have had many line-up changes. The BellRays, currently, are Lisa Kekaula (vocals and percussion), Robert Vennum (guitar and vocals), Bernard Yin (bass guitar and vocals), Dusty Watson (drums).

I hope you enjoy this BellRays Top Ten and go on to explore their extensive back catalogue, celebrating 30 years of “Blues is the teacher … Punk is the preacher”.

 

Revolution Get DownThe Red, White & Black (2003)
“Speed dusted, punk-paced hard rock fronted by ’60’s soul vocals.”

Black LightningBlack Lightning (2010)
“The BellRays don’t so much take the stage as combust. And this isn’t a brief, blinding flash but a sustained series of rock’n’roll detonations that rain down from the skies with devastating effect.”

Have A Little Faith In MeGrand Fury (2000)
“They may have their origins in sunny California but the sound is pure Detroit as they effortlessly infuse soul with cracking punk sensibility.”

 

Mine All MinePunk Funk Rock Soul Vol.1 (2017)
“A cranked up Seventies Detroit scuzz fronted by a Sixties soul belter; bluesy, punky overdrive combine the past and present, anger and love, rousing vocals and roundhouse rattling guitar and drums.”

Zero PMGrand Fury (2000)
“A sound completely their own, a furious combination of abrasive punk and impassioned soul.”

Voodoo TrainThe Red, White & Black (2003)
“it’s all about emotion and energy, experience and raw latent, spirit and intellect; exciting things happen when these things collide”

 

Fire On The MoonGrand Fury (2000)
“For those of you who don’t know, this is the real deal; sexy and intelligent, passionate and powerful, all at once.”

I Don’t Wanna CryPunk Funk Rock Soul Vol.1 (2017)
“Imagine Tina Turner had dropped in on the Raw Power sessions and taken over the vocal duties from Iggy and you have The BellRays.”

Blues For GodzillaLet It Blast (1998)
“This is music that is timeless blues garage punk, but this isn’t post-modernist borrowing; this is the real thing falling fully formed from noise heaven.”

Stupid Fuckin’ PeopleGrand Fury (2000)
“The BellRays fuse sounds together to produce music that is almost unrelentingly intense. It’s not the kind of thing you can sit still to; even if you wanted to, the band wouldn’t let you.”

 

The Bellrays are best witnessed live. I’ve seen them several times and it’s always an incredible experience. They toured the UK throughout January and they will embark on a coast-to-coast tour of North America this May/June. These two homemade video clips will give you an idea of their High Octane Rock ‘n’ Roll, their Maximum Punk-Rock-and-Soul …

 

 

The BellRays side projects
Lisa Kekaula and Bob Vennum also toured and recorded as Lisa & The Lips. “The essence of hot buttered soul and sweet crunchy funk.” Lisa has also performed Stooges songs with James Williamson and MC5 songs with Wayne Kramer. She has also sung with Basement Jaxx and the Bloody Beetroots, an Italian electronic dance music project.
Bernard Yin was a sometime member of the Fuzztones and currently has a surf band called Par Avion. In the late 90s, Dusty Watson was in Dick Dale’s band the Del-Tones and he’s now drumming with the Sonics and touring the UK with them next month. Here’s Dusty drumming up a storm with the Sonics:

 

The BellRays website

The BellRays at Discogs

The BellRays live at Rockpalast in 2008 (full set)

Dusty Watson website

Par Avion website

The BellRays biography (Apple Music)

Ann Chambers loves the psychedelic music of the 80s/90s. In between gigs, she runs her own business, Sequin World and Bead Monster. This is Ann’s seventh post for the site; the first six on Loop, The Heads, Thee Hypnotics, Mudhoney, Wooden Shjips, The Lucid Dream, others are in the pipeline. You can follow her on twitter @ann_sequinworld and other social media sites.

The quotes above are from reviews at the time of each record’s release, paraphrased here and there and attached to a song. This was a cut-up process and the quote may not originally have been about that particular song but … you know what … it doesn’t matter because it works.

TopperPost #842

2 Comments

  1. David Lewis
    Mar 2, 2020

    I’m yet to give them a listen, but the last track sums up my philosophy, really. Lovely article as always.

    • Ann
      Mar 3, 2020

      Thanks David! SFP is one of my all time favourites 😎 hope you enjoy the rest of the songs too

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