The BellRays, Grand Fury (Upper Cut): Fuse two of the most burning, raging and electrifying musical styles — punk and soul — and the result can be intoxicating. The intensified, soulful wail and jaded sexiness of lead singer Lisa Kekaula are what make the BellRays turn so many heads. Her passionate, Tina Turner-style singing defines the band. Kekaula manipulates the music's direction, steering from R&B-heavy speak-singing breakdowns to suddenly explosive, high-speed rock. The edgy music seems to blindly follow the dynamic singer's lead, somewhat like the musicians in The Stooges with singer Iggy Pop. Like The Stooges, The BellRays' music also incorporates some of that Doors-inspired, drug-induced sound. Guitarist Tony Fate, bassist Bob Vennum and drummer Ray Chin deserve much credit for creating a hard, loud, sometimes purposefully dissonant '60s-Detroit punk-rock 'n' soul sound. The new record's lyrics are as energetic, raw and raucous as the jamming, and also racially heavy. Consider this lyric from "Zero P.M.": "Know you're the devil/ Cause you ain't no man/ Witch ya super Nazi/ Ku Klux Klan/ With a gun at your side/ And a rope in your hand/ You must die by the soul/ Cause the world is a ghetto/ You are a ghetto/ And the ghetto must burn from within." With "Warhead" one gets the sense that the humor is there to make the pain bearable: "My daddy was a Nazi/ And my mama was a Jew/ I'm so fucked up/ I don't know what to do/ My great granddaddy was an anglophile/ And I'm just an agronomic juvenile." With such words delivered by Kekaula's mean, powerful vocals, The BellRays can't help being heard — loud, even if not (musically) clear. — Jenny Tatone

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