The BellRays

Lisa Kekaula is garage punk’s secret weapon. The BellRays frontwoman is what soul mama Sharon Jones would sound like macking on the New York Dolls. Kekaula has more white-hot passion and fury than a stack of Black Flag LPs, with a smoky strut to liberate garage punk from its four-chord home. The BellRays began almost 20 years ago with an R&B and soul-soaked vibe, but by last year’s album No. 8, Hard Sweet and Sticky, the group embraced even more rafter-raising rumble, led by Kekaula’s Tina Turner-inspired star turn. While there are moodier excursions like the groovy, funk-inspired “Footprints on Water” and the Black Crowes-ish country blues of “The Same Way,” much of the album boasts jugular-bursting throb, from the hard-driving “That’s Not the Way It Should Be” to chunky rave-up “Psychotic Hate Man.”

Categories: Music