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Deathray

4.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Deathray's debut is full of surprises. The first five seconds of the opening track, "My Lunatic Friends," belies the stripped down, hooky rock that comprises the disc. Glorious reverb and fuzz jump-start the disc, but soon a great pop vocalist and clean, retro arrangements step to the fore. Then, just when you think you've figured out that Deathray lives to pay homage to the pop-inflected likes of XTC, the Raspberries, Big Star, and Badfinger, there's a snippet of the Cars followed by a bit of the bossa nova. By then, it's time to give up altogether and just enjoy the ride. Beyond the catchy single "My Lunatic Friends," which may grab a good number of listeners, it's the late-'70s New Wave sound of the energetic "Check It Over," the languid pop bliss of "What Would You Do," and the beautifully wacky "Baby Polygon," with its electronic twiddling and acoustic guitars (is that a vocoder?) that exert a strong pull. Vocalist Dana Gumbiner is capable, albeit a bit gun shy, while the band (Greg Brown on guitars and Victor Damiani on bass, both formerly with Cake, James Neil on drums, and Max Hart making the synths sing) is just having a blast. --Lorry Fleming

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. My Lunatic Friends
  2. Only Lies
  3. What Would You Do?
  4. Zero
  5. Check It Over
  6. Legionnaires In Doubt
  7. Now That I Am Blind
  8. Someone After You
  9. Scott
  10. Baby Polygon
  11. 10:15
  12. This Time
  13. Happy New Year


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00004LMNF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,196 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Deathray Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I just bought the new Deathray release and I cannot put it away. The long anticipated first release of Sacramento wonderband Deathray, comes charging out of the gates with a fresh, catchy sound in a music industry struggling with an identy crisis. "Only Lies", my favorite track, is best described as 80's new wave meets Weezer with punchy guitars and a sing along chorus. If you are as tired as I am with all the major label "clone" bands that clog the airwaves then I suggest you pick this CD up. You will not be disappointed!
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Format: Audio CD
Deathray was formed by 2 former members of the band Cake, one of which wrote the hit song, "The Distance." The band makes some of the best sounding "new wave" music around. It's a gleeful mix of the new wave eighties and the glam 70s sound but with nice harmonies and shiny hooks to boot. I'd say if you like Apples In Stereo, Guided By Voices or just want to hear a COOL pop record, then this is the CD for you!
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Format: Audio CD
Deathray doesn't break any new ground with this record, but it's so much fun you won't really care. I was surprised to find out that two of the members are Cake alumni because frankly, this band sounds nothing like Cake. I don't think they sound particularly New Wave, either, but hey, I was all of 7 years old when the movement peaked, so what do I know? Put Weezer, Fountains of Wayne and Self into a blender and that, in my opinion, comes closer to what Deathray sounds like. Painfully pretty pop melodies with loud, buzzy guitar and nice, confident harmonies. I would've given them 5 stars but they start to get droney towards the end of the album; too many midtempo tracks, but better bands than this have fallen into the same trap. Worth checking out if you like Weezer (I personally worship them for the Geek Gods they are) or Fountains of Wayne and their ilk. Deathray aren't fresh, but damn, they're really good at what they do.
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Format: Audio CD
just took a listen to the album this morning - wow. Makes me want to get in my car and drive up pacific coast highway with the music blaring (wish i had a car). anyways, this album strikes me as something completely different than whats being played on FM radio today(at least in so.cal) the music is upbeat and infectious, with just the right serving of thoughtful melancholy. although technically crafty, the bandmates didn't let the album get too saturated with technical cheese. the music resembles the ealrly eightees car's sound, revolver-era beatles, and the mormon taberbacle choir (all wrapped into one). highly recommended. seriously, take a listen, YOU'LL LIKE IT...
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By A Customer on May 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I first heard "Now that I am blind" on the radio and loved it. I was late for a class, but sat in the car listening to it, because it was so good. The whole cd is this way. I am a huge Cake fan, and when I found out two old Cake members are now part of Deathray, I couldn't wait to buy the cd. It is a mixture of Weezer, Cake, Radiohead and I even heard a bit of Beach Boys in there... Sounds like a crazy mix but it is great. I give it a solid Ten. Buy it... buy it... buy it...
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Format: Audio CD
My guess is you found these guys because a few of the members are ex-members of Cake. That's how I found them. I was interested enough from a few snippets of songs on this disc that I found a copy.

What greeted my ears when I first put it on was about 35 minutes of generally mediocre pop that sounds more like it should have been released about 10 years earlier.

There's certainly nothing wrong with 3 minute pop songs, or even several of them strung together to form an album as long as they are well written and catchy. This is where Deathray falls a bit short. All the songs are written well enough, but the majority of them just don't have enough of a hook to keep you from forgetting about them as soon as they are over.

There are a few above-average songs here including "My Lunatic Friends", "Legionnaires In Doubt" and "10:15". Unfortunately, there just isn't enough variety here to pique interest for more than the two or three minutes it takes for the song to play through.

Deathray is a decent album, but unless you're some sort of Cake completist or already a fan, I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to pick up this CD.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm amazed by the pop perfection of Deathray's debut album. The production is fantastic on the catchy, melodic harmonies, and their use of Moog/synth programming is brilliant... Like the Kinks meet Radiohead.
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By A Customer on May 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Guys... who are you? You've totally challenged my long-held theory that nothing exciting, colorful or in the least bit quenching can come out of a desolate place such as Sacramento, CA. Your music is incredible! KIMBERLY got me onto it, and yeah, I'm a Brigader... I just heard the entire CD today from end to end, and played it again and again, about 15 times or so.. From the beginning, I felt like it was music I grew up with- that's how fast it grew on me. I'm just lovin' it. If you don't have it, buy it. If you do have it, rock on. 'Nuff said.
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