Riverside, Calif., is the home of the BellRays’ garage. I can see them there now drinking Pabst or its L.A. equivalent. They are jumping up and down practicing their kicks and drumstick spins when suddenly, out of now where, Tina Turner kicks the garage door open, grabs some bad lyrics off the ground, and starts singing. Wait a minute that’s not Tina Turner! That’s Lisa Kebaula. She definitely has the whole ’70s soul thing down. Lisa has the soul and Tony, Bob and Ray have the rock and/or roll. Together they make rock and soul, garage rock maaan.
This 18-track album sounds pretty mid-fi, fitting in its simplicity and its rawness. What makes this band shine is Lisa’s soulful, but occasionally cheesy, vocals. For example, on “Stupid Fuckin’ People” the lyrics are really fuckin’ stupid. But out of nowhere, the next track, “Have a Little Faith in Me” is a great song with a lot of originality. It gives hints that this band could have a great album hidden somewhere within them. I listened to it five times don’t you know!
I don’t know. Maybe I am taking these guys too seriously. Maybe their rock demi-gods live and I’ll later eat my negative words. But to tell you the truth, while listening to the album, I couldn’t decide whether to shut it off and say “P-U,” or turn it way up, jump up and down and smash a beer bottle against my head. I eventually did both.