Goldray - Rising

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2017-05-05

It has seemed that a ripe atmosphere has been cultivated by Prog Psych rockers Goldray, for the release of their new 8-track full album, Rising. The creative bond between members Leah Rasmussen - Vocals, Kenwyn House - Guitar and Geoff Laurens - Bass, enlivens current times, with the explosive essence of British rock unleashed during the late 60's and early 70's. This goes hand in hand with the band's colourful Nouveau-Bohemian attire and Bowie/Bolan glam-era theatrical prowess.

Shining unrestrainedly forth, 'Outloud' leads the recording off with a vibrant bluesy guitar arpeggio that empowers an ascendant embrace. Leah's sweet soul tones weave within and without of Kenwyn's gentle to grandiose arrangements, with the obliging searing fuzz solo brilliance.

As the album title suggests, 'Rising' aims to induce a tremendous reach-down-into-your-soul and look past the current grey times, to the transcendent brilliance that possibly few of us perceive. Leah's vocals somehow have the ability to garner your immediate attention and emotional compass to reach out to a higher plane of existence. A real incendiary Hendrix/Brian May solo from Kenwyn adds further passion to the potion.

Potently endearing and partially rhythmically reminiscent of Reef's Replenish album opener 'Feed Me', the rocket powered 'Diamond Road' has full on vigour and a beautiful organ hazed middle section smothered with Leah's ghostly vocals. The Morcheeba/Kula Shaker-like 'Eyes',  holds you in its sunny-side sitar grafted, swirling gaze. Geoff's bass is smooth, while the drums keep up a buoyant funk groove.

The majestic 'Soulchild' was released as a single last year, it possesses real strength, in contrasting dynamics of wonder and intense elation. Middle eastern flavours cut through on 'Calling Your Name', reverbed shanaz,  possibly zithers, and gongs infused with The Tea Party type heavy toms/guitar motif. Again Leah uniquely brings you into the story with her vulnerable and powerful mesmerising enchantment.

An acoustic guitar and strings led snapshot into Folk and Flamenco on 'Gypsy', allows room for the clarity and harmonies of Leah to show another aspect of Goldray's tonal inventory. Maybe more of this will appear on future recordings. In leaving we have The Beatles influenced tangerine dreaming huddle together, 'The Oranges Song', showing some organic phrasing by Leah, evenly spread over laid back guitar arrangements that are real warm and familiar.

Rising is a confident effort to remind and hopefully revive a much-needed sound seldom heard in recent years in British music. Goldray have an insight and maturity through experience, which engages us, allowing them to lead us on every adventure they choose to embark on.

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