Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Bray-Pins and Needles

September 1, 2007

Band Name: Bray

Album Name: Pins and Needles

Best Element: Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

Genre: Pop/Rock/Sex


Label Name: Self-released

Straight off the California coast comes the sound and energy of Bray, a man with a mission to revive the sexual energy of music spawned from the pelvis of Elvis and the sneer of Billy Idol. Bray’s newest release Pins and Needles will keep you on your toes as you journey through its orgy of pop, rock, lusts and thrusts.

You can immediately tell Bray is itching to get out and get it on with the opening track “Cocoon.” He lets you know what you’re in for by setting a driving beat under catchy guitars, pop vocals and various wacky effects within each other to add depth to the simple message: He wants you to want him.

“Invisible Man” gives birth to the relative simplicity and catchiness of his lyrics during the choruses of his songs, in turn giving you and his fans the opportunity to join the show and sing along loud and proud. The thick fuzzy guitars of “Invisible Man” carry with them a new sound as well, straying from regular distortion or clean guitars that many pop artists of today use.

The seduction begins with “Snapshots,” a cool suave tune sure to get any lady who listens to it right into the backseat of his caddy. Bray then pays homage to rock’s beginnings with a bluesy 12-bar groove in “You in That Dress.”

Perhaps the most sensually arousing song is “Wrap Yourself,” in which Bray pulls out all the stops and comes out straightforward with his desire for the lady fans: “Wrap yourself around me.”

As one listens to Pins and Needles, the pop and rock influences are obvious. Even Bray’s MySpace declares his similar sound to both Prince and Lenny Kravitz, which is exactly what both “$” and “Iceland” blend together. “$” caters to pop culture, bringing to light the power of greed and money on the road to fame. “Iceland” hides within it a bouncy guitar line, head banging verse and an opportunity to rock out after the easygoing “$”.

Bray wraps up the album with “Piece O’ Cake,” one of the different, yet better, tracks on the disc. Significantly toned down from the other songs, this track trades in the disposable pop for memorable harmonies, melodic guitars and well-crafted vocals.

The effort that is Pins and Needles delivers everything you would expect from a man that carries the image of Bray: Fast cars, hot girls, lots of cash, sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. With the energy of rock, catchiness of pop and his own unique twist on both, Bray’s album is a keeper for fans of fun music. If by the end of the album, however, you still don’t understand what exactly Bray is all about, simply listen to his parting words: “Everybody wants to get laid.”

Pick up this album, throw it in on a date and you just might.

-Erik Williams

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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