For my "On Mondays I listen to..." album review this week, we will be checking out Manray's newest (June 2016) release, Psychedelic Jesus.
Manray is a psychedelic rock n' roll, garage punk, west coast surf band out of Los Angeles, California. Their album Psychedelic Jesus was recorded and produced by Zak Mouton and Ryan Frailich at Route 2 Recording Studios in Eagle Rock, CA.
I had the pleasure of playing with Manray at Los Globos, a club in Los Angeles, during #sidewatcherwestcoastadventure. If you love their album, you have to see them live. The energy of Manray's recorded music is tenfold on stage. Their live show has a commanding presence that hypnotizes the listener as they fall under the waves of Manray's cult-ish rhythms, accentuated by a constant tambourine dance.
You can't help but move along.
(Manray - Psychedelic Jesus. I love this album art!)
Psychedelic Jesus is an album infused with vocal tracks along the likes of The B-52s and Depeche Mode that blend with the garage surf flavors of The Ventures.
The six track album begins with "Why Bother?", a song that introduces the listener to the ethereal feeling that remains for the rest of Psychedelic Jesus.
"Luz Azul" is the second track on Psychedelic Jesus. The instrumental introduction starts with drums and guitar, making way for a spell of keys and bass. I love the chord structure and cleverly placed whammy bar.
"Well I had the worst day,
And I feel like dying,I get home to my drums,
And forget about crying,
'Cause the world is a cold place,
And your the hero of my every day,
Let's forget about the worst time,
And let me fill your ears with soft rhymes."
"Neurotics Anonymous" is the anthem of the paranoid and misunderstood Eros. Very cool beach/seagull effect in the middle section, transitioning into frustrated spoken word.
"Psychedelic Jesus" is the title track, and rightfully so. The song is a punkie and powerful ode to Manray, the Psychedelic Jesus. A "villain with super powers, he turned the water into acid." I love the story this song gives.
"L.E.F.E.E. (Low Esteem For Everyone Else)" opens with organ surf-y keys. They add a bit of swing, while still retaining a "holy" vibe. Once again, the reverberated guitar riffs provide a rolling flow for the lyrics to sit upon. Manray does an excellent job in providing a smooth instrumental base for commanding, almost spoken vocals.
"Empty Conversations" closes Psychedelic Jesus with a floating rhythm to get lost in.
As I listened to this album, I couldn't help but picture the vocalist as an actual Psychedelic Jesus. Arms open, preaching to the heeding crowd in front of him. Press play, close your eyes, and let the music wash over you.