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ALBUM REVIEW: Ray & Remora ‘1994’

1994It’s been twenty years since the nineties. It was a time before iPods, iPads, and iPhones. A time before Y2K, before the rise of indie, and before music got intimate with technology.

Twenty years ago, musical trends were defined by a raw, alternative rock sound. Ray & Remora kindled this sound. On 1994, Ray & Remora played around with music from 1994 and created their debut album — a composition of songs from twenty years ago, vocals that are timeless, and instrumentals that are both distorted and distinctive.

This album shows closure between today and two decades ago. It definitely sheds a different light on today’s music, by including the music, that influenced the music, in the music. The distorted, sludgy sound which characterized the original tracks on this album has been ultimately distorted to the point that it has become electronica. In this way, the music has been modernized. This can, and should, be done with great music. Good music can skip through time and be reborn with the help of artists up for the job (think Bob Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” which was covered by Jimi Hendrix and Guns N Roses.)

One of the wonderful things in our day and age is that female vocalists have become much more common in alternative music. On this album, Glen Parks a.k.a Amanda Walker is the voice and Dan Crane is the sound. The first track on the album is a cover of Superchunk’s “Like A Fool.” The track has a faster beat, similar distortion, but it is definitely more indie and less grungy than the original. This trend continues on “Golden Soundz” and the rest of the album.

“Say It Ain’t So”, a cover of Weezer’s classic, is probably one of the more recognizable tracks on 1994. This one is slower than the original. It’s got a nostalgic, melancholy vibe highlighted by the instrumentals: delayed, defused and distant.

Next comes a cover of Sebadoh’s “Skull,” followed by a cover of Dinosaur Jr.’s  “Feel The Pain.” The vocals have a softer wispier voice than the deep, almost anti-melodic, somewhat punk sound of Dinosaur Jr.’s 1994 original.

The last track on the album, a cover of Guided By Voices’ “Gold Heart Mountaintop Queen Directory,” is different from all of the others because it maintains the electric guitar picking of the original track. This song sounds like it is from 1994, and the vocals here are reminiscent of Alanis Morrisette’s style. This song sounds the most like the original.

With this album, Ray & Remora have uncovered a time capsule and painted it red. They have created something new out of the old. Their music is a testament that as times change, tastes and expectations follow, but good music will always find a way to adopt.


To listen to more of Ray & Remora, buy concert tickets and purchase a CD when it becomes available here.



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