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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 98 - 09/28/04

Silver Ray
Humans
Pharmacy Records

Silver Ray's third album Humans was recorded live in the pre-dawn chill between 1am and 5am. To make note of this would for most amount to a cheap shot at pretension, though for avid Silver Ray listeners it provides valuable perspective. Theirs is a strong, dark body of work and the perfect complement to twilight atmospheres and pre-dawn excursions.

What is immediately striking about Humans is the 'Ray's ability to continue the momentum established over previous releases, remaining 'on point' following previous long player New Love. Brett Poliness opens "Winter is Behind Us" with a strident graceful roll on drums, the romantic swagger building before a blood rush by all threatens to overwhelm, guitarist Cam Butler gently raining down sheets of noise. Calm descends as Julitha Ryan provides an ambient spaciousness on keys, providing a beautifully serene centerpiece within the lengthy opener.

"Live Then Die" climbs steadily toward a tremeloe wigout before breathing out into more comfortable measured tones. "Live in Hope" closes the release on a bright expansive note, Julitha Ryan on keys again displaying a real personality in her work, boldly playing out front rather than within. Their warmth, musical telepathy and intuition is such you forget you're witnessing what is essentially a 'live take'. A golden moment arrives when the pulse quickens on "Live in Hope" without a hint of uncertainty, the sound becoming more than the sum of its parts.

The band are due to support Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on their November tour of Europe, building on the interest created by the release of New Love in those parts. Any recognition they receive from these shows will be thoroughly deserved as their epic dusky ballroom soundtracks continue to impress.

Copyright © 2004 Brian Stradbrook e-mail address

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