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  Grand Fury  
  The BellRays  
  Upper Cut  
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I picked this one up on the strength of Jeff Clark's review in Stomp and Stammer (which has been deleted from their online archives, so I can't really link to it.) I generally mesh well with Clark's tastes, so when he gives something the double thumbs-up whammy, I'll take a chance on it. With that said, I think he overstated the case for The BellRays just a bit much. They're an LA band doing metal-flavored Detroit rock funk in the west coast club circuit, from what I can tell, which is all cool and stuff, if you're into it. It's just, I hate LA, and I can't listen to this record without thinking "Can they try to be more rootsy without having any roots?" I also, inevitably, have the following mental exchange with myself any time I play Grand Fury:

Malimus: "Is it possible for a black woman from Detroit to try too hard to be full of soul?"
Malimus: "I don't know, but this chick (Lisa Kekaula) is the person to do that, if it is possible."
Malimus: "Yep."
Malimus: "And regardless, even if she isn't trying too hard, even is she really is just chock to the brim with Aretha-by-way-of-Slade goodness, it doesn't give pardon to the rest of the band. Two white guys and an Asian-American drummer from LA don't get to play around at being bluster rockers with the MC5."
Malimus: "And the white guys call themselves 'Tony Fate'and 'Bob Vennum' on top of it all."
Malimus: "Oh yeah. That's reason enough to detain them indefinitely, now that you mention it. I get the feeling these guys were playing LA Gunns covers this time in 1991. Want a tuna melt?"
Malimus: "Mmmmmm, tuna melt."

So, there you go, the inner workings of my mind laid bare. Grand Fury has a certain vibe to it, once you get past all of the overtones and all of the trying-too-hard-to-keep-it-real-ness, but doing that isn't as easy as it should be. They Glued Your Head On Upside-Down is a pretty good tune, though.

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