Exposé Online banner

Rick Ray — Guitarsenal
((Not on label) Neurosis no#, 2000, CD)

Rick Ray — Living in an Insane World
(Neurosis no#, 2000, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01

Guitarsenal Cover artLiving in an Insane World Cover art

When I first put on a Rick Ray CD (I don’t remember which one of these it was), my first reaction was, “Do I have to listen to the whole thing?” An endless series of fairly stock rock songs with continual noodling on guitar, out of tune vocals, and annoying programmed drums was the last thing I needed. And check out those lyrics! “I see your brain has turned to mush / It’s like a toilet that can’t be flushed.” Ah, the pain of being a music critic! But I forced myself to endure both discs, and counted myself lucky that I only had two of Ray’s hundred and fifty or so releases. On his web site, Ray describes himself as a “Prog Rock Musician” but honestly there’s little progressive about his music aside from a few quick unison licks between guitar and bass. It’s pretty standard 70s-issue guitar rock, and while I can’t fault his skill as a guitarist, his continual soloing gets quite tiresome. The songs occasionally flirt with Beatle-esque melodies, acoustic picking, and spooky quiet sections, but virtually all of it could pass for outtakes from BeBop Deluxe’s Axe Victim – the songs Bill Nelson rejected as too ordinary. A real drummer and a decent singer would help Ray’s music immeasurably, but I’m still not sure how many songs I need to hear about conspiracies of government, media, and big business.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Rick Ray

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Torn / Mick Karn / Terry Bozzio - Polytown – David Torn (guitars, effects), Mick Karn (fretless bass) and Terry Bozzio (drums, percussion) have all been around the block, and this unlikely trio have released one of the years most interesting and...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues