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[MUSIC] I love it when a band finally realizes its potential...

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  • [MUSIC] I love it when a band finally realizes its potential...

    There's this band from California called The Bellrays. I've liked their records a lot over the years, but I've never really, really felt like they've made a record that really, really cashes in on all the potential they have.

    The idea of The Bellrays is just killer, a concept that seems like a can't-miss when you hear it: Tina Turner fronting The Stooges. That just sounds amazingly cool, and on a bunch of songs over the last 10 years or so ("Revolution Get Down" and "Tell The Lie" for instance) they've lived up to the genius of that concept. Too often though, they sound as if they're on cruise control, happy to toss off a lot of filler on their albums, willing to let guitarist Tony Fate's monster riffs and singer Lisa Kekaula's massive soul voice compensate for a lack of killer material.

    Over the last few years they've been stepping away from their punk-ish leanings and embracing more of a soul and classic rock heading, and the new disc they've just put out, Hot, Sweet, & Sticky seems to me like the career-defining rock album I've been waiting for them to release. Disposing of any pretense of being bleeding edge, on this new record The Bell Rays toss Exile-era Stones, vintage Marvin Gaye and Willie Hutch, and a touch of The Faces into a blender and hit the button.

    I think this might be my recordo numero uno of the first half of 2008.

    Here's some songs:

    "The Same Way"

    "Footprints On Water"
    "Psychotic Hate Man"

    If you get the chance to see 'em live, I heartily recommend you do so. To say they bring it is an understatement:

    I like cheese.