1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
Rick wanted to play guitar after seeing the The_Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in '64. He got his first guitar in '66 at the ripe old age of 6 going on 7. In '73 he started the band NEUROTIC which went on until 1985. He then formed the Rick Ray Band (version - 1) which went on until 1989. In 1990 he formed the band Riot Act which lasted until 2000. In 2000 Rick reformed 'The Rick Ray Band' (version - 2) and has been recording and performing with them since then. They've opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd , Blue Oyster Cult , Pat Travers , The Dregs , Robin Trower , Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush , The Steve Morse Band , The Michael Schenker Group , Allan Holdsworth , Kansas , Gary Hoey , Peter Frampton , The Mark Wood Band (members of Trans Siberian Orchestra) , The Average White Band and others.
2. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
Their latest album.
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
1. Taken Control – Heavy guitar and drums. Ted Nugent sound, almost hear Cat Scratch Fever in the guitar riff. Mostly instrumental lead guitar with backing drums and synths.
2. The Jokes On Me – Van Halen – like guitar with reeds. Heavy guitars, reeds and vocals. There are some real cool guitar riffs and solos throughout the song.
3. Something A Little More Original – But this sounds like early Rush or more like Frank Marino, one of the bands My Space friends, with a dash of Supertramp. More guitar riffs and reeds. Instrumental.
4. Red Tape – Eddie VH inspired opening to this one. This time more vocals, guitar and drums.
5. Standing in Harms Way – Jazzy feel to this one. Guitars, drums and reeds.
6. Sgt. Pepperspray – More VH guitar licks and I don’t see any resemblance to the Beatles masterpiece.
7. In the Real World – More guitar with rhythm this time.
8. Reservations in Cell #3 – More VH guitar riffs and some lyrics. Singing about sitting in a prison cell.
9. The Voices – More straight ahead rock n roll with Molly Hatchet sounding vocals.
10. Until the End – Starts out with a Tubes, White Punks on Dope kinda rhythm. Then is slowly denigrates into a guitar and reed instrumental, before the vocals bring back that Molly Hatchet Flirtin’ With Disaster rhythm.
11. Reality Replaces the Symbol – Climbing guitar riff, with ZZ Top Deguello sounding voice and more of that guitar and drum rhythm.
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
Not really. This does not “break the cast” or “break the mold.”
5. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
This will be my one and only listen.
Reviewed by Prof on September 9th, 2009