On RAYS' debut album the band spins eleven tunes of wiry, urgent post-punk, one foot planted firmly in the nihilistic apathy of 70 & 80's punk (Wire, Electric Eels, Pere Ubu, Eno, Television The Fall), Australian punk past & present (UV Race, Terry, Victims, Babeez), and the addictive strum of 80's & 90's New Zealand/Flying Nun pop; all of whom have found their own way to meld the ferocity & thuggery of punk with a singular melodic voice. RAYS are no different; the swirling jangle of ''Attic'' starts the album off, sardonically extolling the joy of 'attic life' with Hannan's monotone conveying an underlying sense of dread & isolation. ''Dead Man's Curve'', with it's hook-filled, organ-laden chorus plays like a lost teenage tragedy song, celebrating the desperation & angst of reckless youth. Elsewhere, tunes like ''Theatre of Lunacy'', ''Made of Shadows'' & ''Drop Dead'' rage with a desperate fire, speaking to the absurdities of everyday life, but with a wry smile. Shit is fucked, but the members of RAYS seem intent on finding humor within the world's everyday desperation, because sometimes that's the only way to stay sane. ''Pain & Sorrow'', ''Back Downtown'' all speak to these truths. The album ends with Hannon's ''Over and Over'', it's sweet melody belying a derisive outlook on the necessity of modern life & the repetition it requires. Throughout it all, RAYS' debut never feels angry, Recorded by Bay-area stalwart Kelley Stoltz & mastered by Australian tone-genius Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring) RAYS is a joyous album packed with weird new-wave swirls and sugar-sticky hooks.
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