[sic] Magazine

Wray – Wray

Wray are a curious proposition for a number of reasons. Though the prevailing wind on their S/T debut blows in from the cool north of muscular shoegaze, for example, the Alabama trio also manage to blend in krautrock repeats, post-punk distortion and surf hooks. On paper this sounds tremendous, but the whole thing seems mastered in woozy midranges, which gives it an unwanted, grey aural sheen.

The seven “power gazing” tracks that make up this release thus shimmer rather than explode – no bad thing, of course, but when twinned with bog-standard indie-rock gloom such as on album opener “Blood Moon” the results are decidedly underwhelming. The vocals too, reverbed and slurred, disappear into a calming haze.

At its best though, when the cymbals rain down in a drizzle of feedback and the guitars roar like classic MBV during the denouement of the otherwise patient “May 15”, it’s unsurprisingly pretty invigorating stuff, bringing to mind the half-speed rage of a record like Pure X’s Pleasure. There are certainly worse ways to spend half an hour, but you’ll probably still be wishing you’d stuck, say, a Slowdive LP on after a few tracks all the same.

~Wray gets its UK release 26th January 2015 via Communicating Vessels Records.~