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Skates & Rays | You Are My Home

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The Byrds The Dream Syndicate The Jam

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United States - California - LA

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Rock: American Underground Rock: Paisley Underground Moods: Type: Lyrical
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You Are My Home

by Skates & Rays

Skates & Rays are an LA band in all the best senses: guitars churn and chime, vocal harmonies abound, and the lyrics take turns both literary and visceral. Paisley Underground enthusiasts and fans of literate guitar pop should feel right at home.
Genre: Rock: American Underground
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Mule
2:56 album only
2. Doubtful Sound
4:32 album only
3. Anemone
3:17 album only
4. Better Not Fight
3:39 album only
5. Satellite Business
3:26 album only
6. June Morning
3:03 album only
7. Fort Ashby
4:07 album only
8. Ghosts of Atlantis
3:42 album only
9. Dr. I'm Healthy
3:28 album only
10. Kristin's Blues
4:35 album only
11. County
5:53 album only
12. I'm Going to Miss Her
3:12 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Skates & Rays are:
Rex Broome: Guitar & Vocals
Derek Hanna: Drums & Vocals
Clifford Ulrich: Bass & Vocals

Skates & Rays are an LA band in all the best senses, and you can hear it all over their debut album "You Are My Home": guitars churn and chime, vocal harmonies abound, and the lyrics take tap the heart, mind and gut in equal measures. Depending on your personal touchstones, you might equally well flash on the bands of the late '60's Sunset Strip, the early and challenging LA punk scene, the Paisley Underground of the 1980s, or the post-shoegaze indie sounds emanating from the band's home turf of Silver Lake in These Modern Times. You'd be right on all counts.

Sounds further from Southern California find their way into the mix. The roots of West Virginia-born singer-guitarist Rex Broome are evident on a number of his compositions, sometimes in the melodies and delivery, but just as often in his dreamy-yet-grounded lyricism. "Fort Ashby" is a sweet, airy soundscape evocative of the shimmering guitar pop of New Zealand and Australia but draws its narrative from a six-year-old's remembrances of a small town county fair, while the fractured winter's tale "Kristin's Blues" would sound natural on a mountain-minor banjo if it weren't delivered with the crunch of "Rust Never Sleeps"-era Crazy Horse instead. Of course, drummer Derek Hanna is playing a rhythm inspired by Sade on the same tune. Hanna's inventiveness shines on "Satellite Business", one of the "You Are My Home"'s purest pop gems: his playing is so fluid and organic that it takes multiple listens to notice just how flat-out weird it is.

An irrepressible love of songcraft as literature is laced throughout the chilly, novelistic postpunk of Broome's "Ghosts of Atlantis" and bassist Clifford Ulrich's hazy, impressionistic "June Morning". But Skates & Rays are visceral, too. "It's very much a live band, a power trio where everyone harmonizes, and we try to explore the full range of what's possible with that... which is a hell of a lot," says Broome. "But there's no cover, and that keeps the electricity flowing." It crackles on rockers like "Doubtful Sound", which suggests a surf-tinged Dream Syndicate, and the trench-warfare-inspired garage stomp of "Better Not Fight". And when the band fully embraces its inescapable indebtedness to The Byrds-- "It's sort of like how The Jam would do The Byrds, is how I hear it", offers Broome-- they sparkle on the propulsive "Anemone" and the closing "I'm Going to Miss Her".

"Everything about us is summed up in the last two tracks on the record," says Broome. His "County" is a harrowing, slow-building trek across psychic scorched earth that builds to an infernal guitar crescendo where the concerns of childhood and the damaged grown-up world collide in way that they probably shouldn't; it's followed by Ulrich's "I'm Going to Miss Her", a song whose pop boisterousness belies a sentiment of tentative uncertainty worthy of a lost Gene Clark tune. "The whole things's about mental illness, really", says Broome. "But you could say the same thing about a collection of the twelve best love songs of all time. They're comforting because they're unsettling, and vice versa. Why else would you want to listen to them?"

Skates & Rays' album "You Are My Home" is now available on Minco Records.



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