East Bay Ray and the Killer Smiles - 'Self Titled' (MVD Audio) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 05:00

eastbayrayYeah that's him, Easy Bay Ray from the Dead Kennedys with a curious collection of songs that will have obvious connections to his other band - like the style on 'It's Broken' having that one string riff that was something of a trade mark with the DKs - but exploring further afield on songs like 'The Heart Is Something' with its totally pop orientated lilt.


Using the voice of Skip McSkipster from the Wynonna Riders and recent DKs live lead throat as well as drummer Steve Wilson and bassist Greg Reeves also seeing duty on recent tours with the DKs I think it's a much better idea calling the band something else and not the new record by the DKs but the experimental side of this record maybe would never fit into the 'Fresh Fruit' or 'Frankenchrist' tip and bring unwarranted criticism, so by calling the band East Bay Ray & The Killer Smiles is best all round. 'I'm A User' is a great power pop, gang vocal chorused track and a fine three and a half minutes of anyone's time.

'The Runner' sees the combo smoulder towards the chorus as the track simply builds then drops back down with a great vocal workout from Skip. This music is timeless and will have wide appeal and will enable this line up to take this baby wherever they want for a follow up. Twelve songs and not a duff one in sight; DKs fans will like it and so will '80s alternative kids because I can hear some influences in here as well as the reggae skank of 'Safe And Sound' which shows off a very versatile style you might not instantly associate with East Bay Ray. To close out the album you've got the rockabilly workout of '16 Tons'. Curious choice of cover but well executed and another string to the bow.

Check this out if you want some quality punk rock and an album that stretches the players without sounding awkward or out of place. East Bay Ray & The Killer Smiles offer something more than a cheeky grin and I'm a liking it.