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"Moray: Live at the LaunchPad"

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I managed to catch most of the Moray set last night at the Launch Pad in downtown Albuquerque. This neo-retro power pop trio proudly picks up the grunge torch that was all but lost when Kurt Cobain left this world and Billy Corgan thought dance music was a good investment for his ample talents. (Not!)

Fronted by (shirtless and well-defined) lead guitarist and vocalist Ryan, the band rounds up with (also shirtless and chesty, with mohawk to boot) Ian on bass guitar, with an explosive drummer aptly named "Animal" bringing up the percussive back-end. This act churns out one finely crafted rock anthem after another, (including Pumpkins & Hendrix covers that exposed their influences beautifully) interlaced with slow-tempo pop ballads that kept the (many) young girls in the audience swaying to the beat.

I picked up their debut album as a pre-release promo for a measly five bucks - available at live shows until their record release party, scheduled for some time in mid-January. Throwing it on after the bars closed while cooking myself a snack, I caught a glimpse of that torch as it once burned brightly in the Seattle of the early '90s, then thought I could see it collapsing time for the present, and into the future. Check these cats out.

- gregoryp(tm)

"Business Brag Sheet: Moray"

Perhaps the best way to catch up with alumnus Ryan Barnett '00, is to watch him rock out on stage. You can find him singing lead vocals and playing guitar for his band MORAY at all the hot spots in Albuquerque.

The name MORAY came from an incident Ryan had with a moral eey at Diamond Head Beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

"I had a fear of the ocean and what was in it, but I had no idea an attack from an eel would be that scary." The name MORAY now translates to their musical style, "it's pretty aggressive," said Barnett, "like a carnivorous fish."

Ryan's vocal and guitar talents definitely bridge the gap between Jimi Hendrix and Corgan. Combined with the assorted sounds and talents of hi band mates, Ian Wengs and Animal, this three-member group successfully creates a genre they call/label/dub Alternative Grunge Funk. The band takes pride in their "transendent sounds, profund writing, and creative artwork."

And don't expect to hear the same kind of sound song after sound. "Unlike most rock music today we have an extremely ecclectic set - you never know what kind of song we'll play next. It's what keeps people coming back," said Barnett.

FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT is not only the title of the band's debut CD, but also their musical intentions... the CD promises to amuse and entertain.

Moray is taking the music scenes in Albuquerque and Portland by storm. The Band is currently preparing to "hit the road," and their performances will certainly not be hard on the ears (nor the eyes).

So if you can't catch a live performance of this up-and-coming music sensation, check out their web site at where you can purchase a CD, buy apparel, or read about and contact the band.

~ Christine MacIntosh, editor & designer

~ Dohnia Dorman, contributor and assistant editor - the alumni insider, Sandia Prep, ABQ NM, Feb 2006


2005 - Moray (EP)
2005/2006 - For Your Amusement (LP)

Listen to Moray on:


Feeling a bit camera shy


Moray - For Your Amusement
Best Rock CD
2006 New Mexico Music Awards

The name Moray derives from a sudden near-death experience with a moray eel at Diamond Head Beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

No further mention will be made of that eel, nor of eels in general.

A few years later, Moray has risen to be the tightest and most promising three-piece to appear in the Albuquerque music scene. They are well prepared for the road with their transcendent sounds, profound writing, creative artwork and unquestionably good looks (to say nothing of their infinite modesty).

Moray's odd assortment of talents and backgrounds create a sound that contains nearly every possibility heard since rock and roll was pulled kicking and screaming into this world. This music seems to work for everyone, holding common values and altered states side by side.

RYAN is the guitar god with the leading voice, who brought the original Moray concept with him to Albuquerque all the way from Rohnert Park, CA. His work reflects the innovative styles of Hendrix and Corgan, successfully tying whole decades together. With one foot in the classic and the other in the alternative, anything is possible.

IAN delivers five more strings and another mic, holding Moray aloft on the kind of low and high frequencies that work as well for Moray as for building-demolition and world peace. Sculpted, pierced and painted, this freak drives the bass line and vocal harmonies, owning the range between the dark heaviness of Tool and the folksy era of Joni Mitchell.

ANIMAL lives up to his name energetically and in song, providing a rich and expert tapestry of beats and rhythms, elevating the music of Moray and audiences along with them to new levels both mundane and spiritual. Employing rock and jazz techniques approaching those of Gadd and Weckl in complexity, he works it all up into a satisfying groove.

The resulting music is exactly as animated and interesting as the “Moraysian Mafia” appears. If any three people are enough to constitute a mafia, these three are. Their self-titled genre Alternative Grunge Funk can only be understood by hearing their songs—that’s where it all makes sense.