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Album Review: East Bay Ray and the Killer Smiles – self titled

Album Review: East Bay Ray and the Killer Smiles – self titled

I really wanted to like this album. I’ve been listening to the Dead Kennedys since I was in 9th or 10th grade (back in the late 80’s), and I’ve even got a tattoo of the DK symbol on my leg but… I have to say that ‘East Bay Ray and the Killer Smiles‘ self titled […]

I really wanted to like this album. I’ve been listening to the Dead Kennedys since I was in 9th or 10th grade (back in the late 80’s), and I’ve even got a tattoo of the DK symbol on my leg but… I have to say that ‘East Bay Ray and the Killer Smiles‘ self titled debut is exceedingly boring. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, it surely wasn’t a new DK album (even though Ron Greer, who goes by the name Skip Mcskipster on this release has been the touring vocalist for the Dead Kennedys for the past three or so years) but I was hoping for something a little more focused than this mess. This album is all over the place in terms of musical styles.

The disc starts out with “Raising The Stakes”, a song that has that early California punk sound and feel to it. The vocals are somewhat barked and slurred during the verse and the chorus is sung slower and in a lower pitch. This song reminds me of a cross between D.I. and early T.S.O.L. That sounds like a good combo but to me this track feels fake and overly forced.

Song two is called “Lipstick Cherry Red” and it has a different sound than first one. This track starts off very poppy with a sixties feel to it. It would fit well on a playlist with Del Shannon’s “Runaway” and Tommy James’ “Crimson and Clover” but only if it was a much better song. The main problem I have with “Lipstick Cherry Red” is that they don’t commit to the style, the verse’s are sixties inspired but the chorus falls back into the T.S.O.L.-ish sound and it takes a song that could have been really good and turns it to a mediocre waste of four minutes of my life.

Number three is called “You’re Such A Fake”, it’s a more punk number with a slightly whiney vocal delivery. Oh, and it’s obviously directed towards Jello Biafra.

I’m gonna skip ahead to song number five. This one is called “The Heart Is Something” and it’s a cow-punk song with a minuscule amount of punk influence. It’s pretty lame and this is coming from someone who usually enjoys it when punk bands take a stab at the country genre.

Track six, “It’s Broken” try’s to sound early 80’s So-Cal hard core (think Black Flag) and does a half way decent job at it. Musically, this one is the closest to something you’d expect from East Bay Ray.

Skipping ahead to the tenth track, “Safe and Sound”. Now we have a reggae song!

The other songs, “Area 51”, “I’m A User” (a pretty good song), “The Runner”, “The Hardest Part” and “16 Tons” range from sounding like T.S.O.L. and maybe a bit like The Gaslight Anthem, to sixties influenced, to poppy and at times all of the above.

There is one nugget of awesomeness on the cd though. The song is called “The Last Time You Failed” and it’s the only track on here that I was thrilled with, and one of only two that will remain on my I-Pod after I turn in this review. Musically, this one is an all out early 80’s alternative song, think of the more upbeat songs by The Cure, Bauhaus, or even David Bowie and you’d be pretty close. Skip’s vocals even take on a Peter Murphy/David Bowie quality on this tune. Cool Song, unexpected (especially on an album chock full of average songs) but really cool.

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New Song: East Bay Ray and the Killer Smiles – “You’re Such A Fake” off upcoming album

New Song: East Bay Ray and the Killer Smiles – “You’re Such A Fake” off upcoming album

Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray’s side project the Killer Smiles are streaming a new song “You’re Such a Fake.” You can check it out here. The band’s eponymous debut is due out September 13, 2011 via MVD Audio and was produced by Butthole Surfers’ Paul Leary.

Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray’s side project the Killer Smiles are streaming a new song “You’re Such a Fake.”

You can check it out here.

The band’s eponymous debut is due out September 13, 2011 via MVD Audio and was produced by Butthole Surfers’ Paul Leary.

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East Bay Ray and The Killer Smiles (ex Dead Kennedys) detail self-titled debut album

East Bay Ray and The Killer Smiles (ex Dead Kennedys) detail self-titled debut album

Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray has announced the release of the self-titled debut album of his new band, East Bay Ray and The Killer Smiles. The record will come out September 13 via MVD Audio. The 12 new tracks were produced by Paul Leary, Butthole Surfers guitarist and widely known for producing Sublime’s massive […]

Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray has announced the release of the self-titled debut album of his new band, East Bay Ray and The Killer Smiles. The record will come out September 13 via MVD Audio. The 12 new tracks were produced by Paul Leary, Butthole Surfers guitarist and widely known for producing Sublime’s massive self-titled CD and their single “Santeria.”

Along with Ray, the recording also features the voice and lyrics of Skip McSkipster from the Wynonna Riders and recent Dead Kennedys’ tours.

As East Bay Ray describes the album: “While Skip and I were touring in the DKs, we started writing a batch of new songs and wanted to record them. And then Paul Leary, who the DKs used to play with in warehouses back in the day, took a liking to the project and he ended up producing it.”

They are joined on the album by drummer Steve Wilson and bassist Greg Reeves, both who have also filled in on several major Dead Kennedys tours.
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LEFTOVER CRACK at  East Bay Rats Club House  5192011

LEFTOVER CRACK at East Bay Rats Club House 5192011

LEFTOVER CRACK at East Bay Rats Club House 5192011 5-19-2011 19:00 Oakland Ca

LEFTOVER CRACK at East Bay Rats Club House 5192011 5-19-2011 19:00 Oakland Ca

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Anthony Ranieri (Bayside) announces solo acoustic shows in Northeastern / Midwestern U.S.

Anthony Ranieri (Bayside) announces solo acoustic shows in Northeastern / Midwestern U.S.

Anthony Ranieri of Bayside has announced solo acoustic shows in the midwest and northeast. You can check out the dates and locations here. Vinnie released his solo EP City By the Sea earlier this year.

Anthony Ranieri of Bayside has announced solo acoustic shows in the midwest and northeast.

You can check out the dates and locations here.

Vinnie released his solo EP City By the Sea earlier this year.

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Bayside announce short Northeastern winter tour

Bayside announce short Northeastern winter tour

Bayside have announced that, after wrapping up a fall tour with Motion City Soundtrack, State Champs, and What’s Eating Gilbert, they will be playing a short run of shows in the Northeast near the end of December. Details can be found below. Bayside’s currently working on a new full-length album, set to be released through […]

Bayside have announced that, after wrapping up a fall tour with Motion City Soundtrack, State Champs, and What’s Eating Gilbert, they will be playing a short run of shows in the Northeast near the end of December.

Details can be found below.

Bayside’s currently working on a new full-length album, set to be released through Hopeless Records. Their latest full-length album “Killing Time” came out in February, 2011 on Wind-Up Records. [Read more…]

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Bayside announce short run of east coast dates

Bayside announce short run of east coast dates

Bayside has just announced a small run of headlining dates on the east coast in February. Check out when the guys are coming to town here. Bayside released their last album, “Killing Time,” in February on Wind Up Records.

Bayside has just announced a small run of headlining dates on the east coast in February. Check out when the guys are coming to town here.

Bayside released their last album, “Killing Time,” in February on Wind Up Records.

[Read more…]

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Paper + Plastick Records announce Ebay auctions to benefit breast cancer foundation

Paper + Plastick Records announce Ebay auctions to benefit breast cancer foundation

Punk label Paper + Plastick Records announced yesterday that it has started a series of Ebay Auctions whose proceeds will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The label is auctioning off many gems, including highly collectible test pressings from bands such as A Wilhelm Scream, Landmines, Foundation, and The Ataris, as well as some rare […]

Punk label Paper + Plastick Records announced yesterday that it has started a series of Ebay Auctions whose proceeds will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The label is auctioning off many gems, including highly collectible test pressings from bands such as A Wilhelm Scream, Landmines, Foundation, and The Ataris, as well as some rare vinyl from label founder Vinnie Fiorello’s band Less Than Jake.

To check out the records that are up for grabs, click here.

Place your bids soon!  These special auctions will be all done in less than nine days.

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Anthony Raneri (Bayside) announces Northeastern U.S. solo dates

Anthony Raneri (Bayside) announces Northeastern U.S. solo dates

Anthony Raneri, singer of the New York pop punk act Bayside has announced a handful of Northeastern U.S. solo dates. You can check out the dates and locations right here. Bayside released their  latest album “Killing Time,” in February on Wind Up Records. You can check out a sweet interview with Anthony conducted by Dying […]

Anthony Raneri, singer of the New York pop punk act Bayside has announced a handful of Northeastern U.S. solo dates.

You can check out the dates and locations right here.

Bayside released their  latest album “Killing Time,” in February on Wind Up Records. You can check out a sweet interview with Anthony conducted by Dying Scene’s editor Tommy right here.

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Tsunami Bomb announce east coast dates

Tsunami Bomb announce east coast dates

The reformed punk veterans Tsunami Bomb have just announced that they’ll be making a run of appearances on the East Coast May 16th, through May 19th. They are also returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, Feb. 17th for an all ages show at Bottom Of The Hill to send off their voyage […]

The reformed punk veterans Tsunami Bomb have just announced that they’ll be making a run of appearances on the East Coast May 16th, through May 19th. They are also returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, Feb. 17th for an all ages show at Bottom Of The Hill to send off their voyage into the studio to begin a new album. 

Check out the dates below, and pick up some tickets here.

[Read more…]

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