MP3 The Invisible Rays - Put Your Gun Away
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12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Instrumental Rock, ROCK: Progressive Rock
The Invisible Rays formed in 2001 when two back-up men of the Boston vocal rock scene decided to leave the front-men behind and compose and record an instrumental album of cinematic music, combining 60's spy psychedelia and art-punk rock. Ned Armsby, who plays drums and orchestrates the myriad of movie samples and sound effects, is a veteran of the Boston music scene and a current member of Babaloo and the Blind King. He has also played with bands as diverse as art-goth rockers Incus and the Cha Cha Cha Allstars. Rafi Sofer, who plays guitar and synthesizer and masterminds the Ray's special sonic racket, is a reluctant performer (he hates carrying things) and a semi-patient sound engineer who has worked on records at Q Division for local and national acts including Francine and Mission of Burma and engineered shows for Juliana Hatfield. Inspired by the work of Boston record labels such as Kimchee Records and in the tradition of national Indies such as Quarterstick and SST, The Invisible Rays self-released their debut record "Put Your Gun Away" under the moniker Confidential Charley Records. In that independent spirit, the Rays have developed a unique and innovative sound that has been likened to bands as diverse as Calexico, Sonic Youth, and kraut rockers NEU!
"Put Your Gun Away" was composed while being recorded, a classic example of the backwards making of a record, harking back to the indulgent hey-days of rock when bands booked studios for months to "write" in. As Armsby and Sofer developed the songs, the record became a series of mood pieces that make up a musical narrative. Right away with 'Fete Fatale,' the opening track of Put Your Gun Away, The Invisible Rays set the mood as mysterious and ominous guitars soar above syncopated drumbeats. The mood then shifts as scenes in a film change to the more thoughtful 'Don't Run' and then to the vintage surf of 'Ivan a-go-go'. Put Your Gun Away continues to follow the suspenseful arc of a tale of intrigue, from the fast-paced car chase punk of 'ee6' (track 7) to the bittersweet synth of the final scene' in 'Let It Go' (track 11). Ethereal and strangled guitars float by thundering drums, and odd synthesizers paint the skies above beaches where spies and lovers reenact B-movie dramas. While most of the tracks of Put Your Gun Away feature the traditional rock band instrumentation of guitar, bass, drums and keyboards, interspersed throughout the album are several quieter acoustic pieces featuring banjo and dobro that develop themes from the harder-rocking songs. Songs on the album not only span a range of moods, they also draw from many musical sources and genres - from the dark wails of distorted banshees on Distracted to the neo-wave synth lines of Sampler Science. Because no good thing is ever made in a vacuum, Sofer and Armsby enlisted the resources of numerous individuals in the completion and design of the record including ace producer Darron Burke - master of Makeshift Studios, Boston composer AJ McCaffrey, trumpeter Mark Sanchez, Red Zone Cuba guitarist Jason Landry, and photographer Thomas Gustainis.
The Invisible Rays also put on a compelling live show. With a stripped-down instrumentation, the compositions reveal themselves in new ways. The pieces of movie dialogue echo the wails of the guitar but the speakers are invisible. The emanating Rays pour out of the amps, driven by the Rat-powered bass of Eric Krauter (Calendar Girl, Drumming on Glass) and the organ melodies of Ben Abrahamse (RZC). The Invisible Rays in stereoscopic 3-D. "You won't believe it!"
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