Californian four-piece RAYS have just released their self-titled début record on Trouble In Mind Records. And here's what we think; RAYS are beyond punk. They're throwing it out the window and starting something new. So we thought we'd better catch up with guitarist Troy Hewit to find out what this new brand is all about. Third Introduces RAYS
"Our goal has always been to get our music out to other like-minded people. There are so many scenes of musicians and bands making really good music right now. The goals themselves have not evolved so much as the chances of fulfilling them. Like playing internationally. Touring Europe or Australia seems a lot closer than it used to".
"Each song has any number of different influences. A lot of the time it's 60's or 70's pop and rock but I think we all draw a lot of motivation from our contemporaries. It's one thing to admire The Byrds but good music seems much more attainable when you are blown away by songs your friends write. It's like, it's still possible. Bands such as Swiftumz, The Mantles, Honey Radar and Violent Change are very inspiring".
"Obviously there are many genres of music that don't rely on effects, like country and folk and all music before the 1960's. Electric guitar is a very versatile instrument. The sound that emerges has a lot to do with the room it's played in or the machines used to record. We often choose what guitar or amp we are using based on getting the sound we want without having to rely on effects".
"I can't speak for the rest of the band but the last two records I bought were the new Cube record My Cube and the Angel record 2017. They are both amazing".
When we ask Troy if the band think about genres when they create music, his answer is clear: "not at all." Though it has been said before, RAYS are beyond punk. In fact, they're throwing it out the window with their scrappy and purposefully jangly brand of punk. It is out of tune, it is fast, Lo-Fi, exhilarating. And it is punk. But they draw inspiration from so many contemporaries that their sound could never be considered a first wave rip-off. That punk is out the window! Yet we still can't tell you what this record sounds like. Because it sounds like RAYS. Nothing else.
Here's the deal with RAYS: they are unpredictable. In their weird and frightening world punk is something you're born with, not something you learn. The sound is as pure, honest and as terrible as it can get. The record compacts a dense, unwieldy tangle of rockabilly rhythms, spoken-word splatters, 70's punk spirit and a Sci-Fi synth salvaged a charity shop bargain bins. It's messy and menacing in equal measure. The best.