Goldray – Feel The Change
Akashic Records/Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 31/07/2020
Running Time: 39:36
Review by Martin Bennewith
Goldray were not really on my radar before now. I feel like I have been missing out, but not anymore. Leah Rasmussen’s strong and stirring vocals, together with (Former Reef Guitarist) Kenwyn House’s melodic intricate guitar lines are short of the perfect marriage, so it does take time to understand their relationship, but I think I do get it after listening through this. Their deep psychedelic progressive rock fuelled album “Feel The Change” demonstrates this to the fullest. While on my journey through this, at times I would close my eyes and almost feel the energy running through me, as if I was listening to them live, but then I would open them again, and realise I was still alone in my room.
The feel of the album is firmly announced in the first track ‘Oz’ – which for the most part is a phased rhythmic lead riff matched against steady stirring vocals and swirling effects. At times, it has an eastern feel to it both through the vocal melodies and the way the guitar riff morphs, as well as some mellow lead playing against stirring effects as the track moves from energetic to dreamy in a way that works really well. It is definitely one to close your eyes to, only to be nudged back to reality with the nifty but slightly self-indulgent lead playing towards the end of the track.
Title track ‘Feel The Change’ begins with some really nice arpeggiated guitar work, giving it an almost acoustic feel. Leah doesn’t disappoint with her vocal work – emotional with expression that builds up as the track develops with great energy. The track has a fairly laid-back feel throughout, but with enough groove, direction and meaning to keep me interested.
‘The Forest’ has an equally sweet feel and progression, and you really can hear House’s Hendrix influences shining through with his melodic rhythmic playing as well as the lead parts, whereas ‘The Forest (Part 2)’ in contrast has a heavier energy to it, and made me wish I still had hair to fly around while rocking my head to the beat. Leah’s impressive vocal range and versatility really shine at the climax of the track as my journey through ‘The Forest’ nears the end.
We return to a slightly eastern, more psychedelic feel on ‘How Do You Know’, with heavily reverberated vocals, against an energetic beat and repetitive hypnotic guitar lines. I don’t think this is the most memorable track on the album, musically it didn’t hold my interest as much as the other tracks, but it does have a guitar part that is lengthy and full of raw energy to spice things up a lot towards the end.
Next track, ‘The Beat Inside’ has a really pumping guitar riff that will blow the dust off your speakers. Following most of the album’s formula, the stirring vocal work strikes an almost unusual contrast which is most evident in this track. With ad-lib style vocals and lead, this track feels like a bit of a jam session, albeit a jam session that I love to listen to. This is followed by ‘Come On’ which in contrast, has a more laid-back country feel, so the vocals do not sound so much detached as they occasionally do in the more energetic numbers.
On the final track ‘Phoenix Rising’, I could really hear Kenwyn House’s style shining through with his Hendrixesque rhythm play and intricate bluesy lead lines. After lots of energy and vocal stirrings to finish the proceedings, I opened my eyes, and felt like I had listened to a pretty good album!
I don’t think this album will be for everyone. The style is quite raw. Musically, it sometimes sounds like a jam session as opposed to a work of art, and the vocals at times feel like they don’t quite fit the music. But if you are like me, and you can see that the way this was put together was to draw you in and send you into a dream that is mixed with raw energy and emotion, then you will like it a lot.
02. Feel The Change
03. The Forest
04. The Forest (Part 2)
05. How Do You Know
06. The Beat Inside
07. Come On
08. Phoenix Rising
Leah Ray Rasmussen – Vocals
Kenwyn House. – Guitars, Piano, Farfisa Electric Organ, Bass, Backing Vocals
Plus, appearances from:
Geoff Laurens – Bass
Mike Kenna – Bass
Jamie Morrison – Drums & Percussion
Jonny Brister – Drums & Percussion
Lee Spreadbury – Electric Piano, Keyboards
Stephen Large – Hammond Organ
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Martin Bennewith and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.