Goldray - Rising album review

Ex-Reef man’s starry-eyed trio Goldray make impressive debut

Goldray - Rising album artwork

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With a name like Kenwyn House, the former guitarist of Reef always seemed as if he belonged on the credits of a slightly more psychedelic record, and with Goldray’s debut, he seems to have finally made it.

Teaming up with erstwhile progressive house vocalist Leah Rasmussen and drummer Geoff Lauren, they’ve spent the last seven years gigging, writing and painstakingly crowdfunding Rising, and they can be proud of the end result. You can still hear traces of Reef’s bluesy rock blueprint on the twanging, gutsy riffs of Outloud and Soulchild, but around them are built trippier sonic sojourns that recall Jefferson Airplane, most clearly in the just eaten-something-strange final track The Oranges Song, where we’re told that ‘refuse tips of riddles live next door’. They’re part of what Rasmussen claims is “a concept album… the listener will work out what that is from listening to the record”. Not in this reviewer’s case, but even if the lyrics rely heavily on vaguely mystical buzzwords, her melodramatic, breathy delivery helps them convince regardless, and it’s the feel of this record that defines it, from the gorgeously ghostly Nightwish-isms of Calling Your Name to the swirly, hypnotic chorus that reels you into the sitar-laced Eyes.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock