Gig Seeker Pro


London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"RAY - Daily Star Album Review"

Over the course of 4 albums Ray have evolved into darkly intoxicating practitioners of the classic British Indie sound associated with those real independent labels of the late 70s and 80s.

Just like the Great British car industry, that literate and gloriously gloomy scene sadly surrendered to cheap and inferior foreign imports.

But Ray still fly the flag and with more robust tunes like Five Times Cursed and the chiming title track in their armoury, they appear to have the musical cajones to make a significant impact at long last.

Guitarist Mark Bradford's considered and effortlessly tuneful approach still demands comparisons with Johnny Marr with a little Robin Guthrie chucked in for good measure, while brother Nev's lyrical romanticism provides as the perfect foil.

Arguable their most muscular collection yet, Death In Fiction is the kind of album that will return your faith in music.
Rudy Bolly. 4 June 2008
- Rudy Bolly - The Daily Star

"RAY - Big Takeover Review"

London's own astute dark rock masters return strong with this fourth addition to their cannon, and it's a stunner.
Simply stated, Ray produce an intelligently-crafted, edgily-constructed collection that brims with the kind of romantic atmosphere and emotional depth this scribe has not heard since early-80s when records by band like Cosmat Angels, Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Sound and Bauhaus all dominated my turntable.

Those of you that thought that modern bands weren't capable of making records as potent or as thrilling as those will be thrilled to hear this.
Not retro; modern and now! And lovely.
Brian Swisky
- Brian Swisky

"RAY - Hard-Wired.org.uk Album Review"

London-based band Ray mix deep brooding vocals with Indie-style guitars. Death In Fiction sees them make a welcome return in recorded form. It makes me wonder what people who used to like Suede and Strangelove listen to these days. If they have space on their iPods, then Death In Fiction should be a prime candidate for download. Ray display a sense of drama – like the above bands - which gives their songs life.
"Five Times Cursed" is the sound of The House of Love on Lucozade. Mark Bradford's guitar echoes and chimes a la Terry Bickers. Meanwhile singer Nev emotes in a worldly-wise yet wide-eyed manner. This song heralds a slight toughening of the band's sound, but don't worry, they haven't exactly turned into Metallica. A The The-esque bass line ushers in "Days To Come". As the chorus kicks in you realise that this song will hang around your head for days to come. The guitar arpeggios have the dexterity of Johnny Marr and serve the song, rather than fuel the player's ego. These two opening songs have a mean and moody atmosphere, which is dispelled by the slightly more jaunty title track. The summery strumming doesn't mean the band have gone lightweight. Mark and Nev are quality songwriters who know how to build a piece of music that carries the listeners along for the ride.

"This Is A Wave" sounds like the band's last album "Daylight In The Darkroom". It blends strummed acoustic guitar, with a note-bending solo in the style of Chris Isaak. Nev promises: 'I will swear/To be the devil's foe.' Meanwhile "Roulette Sun" has a woozy, languid feeling, reminiscent of the moodier moments of Dog Man Star. The echo-laden slide guitar is particularly effective. "Little Joy" passes pleasantly, but unmemorably. "Great Strange Dream" has fantastic guitars, making me wonder whatever happened to Marion, whose debut album was cut from similar cloth. "Sound Of The End" has the faded glamour of early Suede. "Begging Like A Dog" is the sound of Tindersticks, if they had just come from a children's birthday party rather than a funereal.

It's difficult to describe quite how they do it, but sometimes Ray just makes a song that connects with something primeval in my soul. On the last album it was "Godspeed To You The Avalanche". This time around it's the final song "Cut Out". Maybe it's the dynamics, the way the song ebbs and flows. Maybe it's the lyrical motif of 'a death in fiction' that reprises the title track. It could the way the guitar lines flow, mercurial in the heat. The song is epic, without being bloated. When Ray headline the Royal Albert Hall they should climax with this song, preferably backed by a full orchestra.

Ray are one of those bands which tempt me to proselytize. They aren't radically refining the Indie genre in which they belong, but the quality of songwriting and the finesse of their playing marks them out as timeless. Ray deserve to be in the charts, they deserve to be loved by millions, but life is so rarely fair...
- Stuart Moses

"RAY Lucid Culture Album Review"

Sweepingly majestic and savagely beautiful, a serious contender for best rock album of 2008. This cd ought to establish British rock quartet Ray as frontrunners for this year’s Mercury Prize (at least that’s how it looks from five thousand feet). With a big, anthemic sound that manages to be accessible without sacrificing intelligence or intensity, both in abundance here, Ray draws deeply from just about the darkest possible well of 80s influences. Their sound could be described as a mix of Bauhaus minus the, you know, “Alone, in a darkened room, The Count!!!” along with the big, potent anthemic sensibility of vintage, early 90s New Model Army and perhaps Madrugada albeit without that band’s Hollywoodisms or Stooges obsession. Death in Fiction is a concept album of sorts about dissolution, despair and missed opportunities. Frontman Nev Bradford has the baritone delivery that’s all the rage, but like his forerunners Peter Murphy and Nick Cave, he’s confident, completely unaffected, bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the uptight, constipated posers of the National or Interpol. There is nothing whatsoever cold or detached about Ray’s music: John Rivers’ magnificent, epic production only serves to elevate these songs’ passion, tension and resolution, the clash of hope up against the cruel barbwire of reality. The trendoid crowd over here on this side of the pond will not get this band (although the cool kids will).

The album kicks off with a ferocious blast of sound on the opening hook to the catchy Five Times Cursed, what quickly becomes characteristically howling, anguished lead guitar over a lush, roaring, pounding wash of sound echoing and glistening with reverb and digital delay. The following cut Days to Come nicks the bass lick from the Alarm Clocks’ 60s garage rock classic No Reason to Complain, although they take it completely in the opposite direction. Lead guitarist Mark Bradford plays with an extraordinarily terse ferocity, like Peter Koppes of the Church in his most dramatic moments while the rhythm section of Martin Tisdall on bass and Chris Lowe on drums holds this relentless juggernaut to the rails.

The title track methodically builds to a crescendo over a propulsive Sister Ray groove: “This is the price you pay for believing that/A death in fiction would be fine.” After that, Roulette Sun raises a glass of absinthe to Pink Floyd’s iconic Time, Mark Bradford’s anguished lead lines painted stark against a somber Hammond organ background. The tense, desperate minimalism of Little Joy (“For a little joy…to call your own, what would you do?”) evokes nothing less than Joy Division at their most guitarish, again punctuated by another deliciously screaming, reverberating solo.

Next, Great Strange Dream is a meticulously arranged anthem that once again sounds a lot like the Church. Sound of the End is a snarling, slowly crescendoing broadside at conformists and their entertainment-industrial complex, building to a heartbreakingly beautiful, recurring hook, only to slip away gracefully at the end. Begging Like a Dog rages out at mindless consumption:

They have a lot of ways of placing

A Godless advert on your shrine

They have a lot of ways of thieving

What was yours and what was mine

They have you begging like a dog

The album ends with the majestic Cut Out, both cautionary tale and a sort of requiem for a dream unfulfilled. All things considered, this a terrific ipod album, although its lush sonics benefit greatly from loud volume and big speakers.
- Alan Young Lucid Culture

"RAY - ireallylovemusic.co.uk album review"

with a cover made to look like an old fashioned paperback, and a dodo record label logo that swings close to the classic penguin book logo then it would be easy to suggest that ray have made their second album with an eye on more pre-myspace innocent times long past, and in some ways their brand of indie rock is indeed a wonderfully refreshing take on late widescreen 80s productions devoid of any need to add 2008 time stamped casio keyboard stabs or hitting the well oiled excessive-treble button.

you may recall ireallylovemusic was somewhat taken with the bands quiet storm of a debut, daylight in the darkroom, where the mood was late night and rather melancholy. however, a b-side on a single that followed that release indicated that the band were tightening up as a live rocking unit. the track, this is a wave, piled on the layers of guitars and structured feedback brilliantly and became a firm favourite on the ireallylovemusic download stats. so it should come as no real surprise to find out that for this album ray have taken that particular idea of ramping up the noise, and run with it throughout the whole ten tracks.

basically, where the debut was a midsomer murders/sunday night of an album, the follow up is definitely a red wine plus saturday night type of album.

the production, again handled by john ‘ghost town’ rivers, is expansive with the reverb being used to the max making a lot sound like a remastered variant of the house of loves better moments while at times adding an updated darker edge, and could if given the chance give editors a run for their money.

i realise that’s a connection i made last time, but nev bradfords deep rich vocals continue to evoke the same reaction, but when the songs are as strong as opener, five times cursed, this is a wave (it is still a fantastic sounding song) then in my eyes this comparison is not a complaint, but a massive compliment.

add to the equation a genuinely superb 5 minute pink floyd styled epic (it’s all about the use of the hammond organ and guitar solo), roulette sun, sitting proud in the centre of the album, and you cannot fail to succumb to rays charms. other highlights include the sweeping psychedelia of hook heavy great strange dream, the lighters in the air moods of sound of the end, and the tense dramatic build up of album closer, cut out

if this band are playing at a festival near you over the coming months, then i strongly suggest you take a chance on ray, if you don’t then that would be a great shame.

- marke / ireallylovemusic

"RAY Roomthirteen.com review"

With a mixture of pleasing indie pop, deep and insouciant vocals and strutting 60's psychedelic guitars, Ray pull off a thoroughly engaging album that's full of life. Opener 'Five Times Cursed' is a highly polished, decadent pop song with eerie guitar melody and introduces the story of 'Death In Fiction', which the band cite as the "death tale of a luckless hedonist who rejoices in all things fictional at the expense of living his own life".

'Days To Come's florid guitarwork has a definite overindulgent 60's quality to it which makes it one of the finest tunes on the album with ebullient harmonies that threaten to break lose from the record at any minute. A triumphant melange of echoing, edgy indie and careening guitar melody, 'This Is A Wave' is another smooth delight, running into the glassy realms of 'Roulette Sin', which is accurately described as resembling a Pink Floyd soundscape with crashing percussion and drifting guitars that stagger to a shuddering peak.

'Little Joy' is a jaunty, but rich and captivating number with an underlying tension that grips the listener while, 'Great Strange Dream' is a more passionate, stirring piece of songwriting that centres more around the vocal melody than many of Ray's other works. Ray's great draw is in the perfectly pitched pop tunes which are all blessed with a certain spark of melodic fervour and keep you listening in. The guitarwork is far from a cohesive backing, but full of lithe and electric hooks and vibrant chords that spill out over the vocals, almost taking the lead half of the time, something that seems rare in current mainstream indie music. - Jo Vallance

"RAY - Netrhythms.com review"

Those coming to the third album by the London-based four-piece led by brothers Nev and Mark Bradford expecting to find more of the Blue Nile, Aztec Camera and folk echoes of the previous releases are in for a surprise. A pleasant one though, to be sure.

The big music, widescreen canvas is still there, but these days they're painting it with cranked up swirly psychedelic rock that more recalls a cocktail of The Doors, Nick Cave, Echo and the Bunnymen and, often, The Dream Syndicate.

They parade their new colours from the opening track, the surgingly black veined Five Miles Cursed where the guitars circle the skies like brooding eagles surveying a desert landscape and Nev sounds like Scott Walker fronting the Bad Seeds. It's an immediate shock to the system but once you've recovered your breath, you'll find it's already embedded itself in your mind and you're lusting to hear more.

Described by the band as "a true-life birth to death tale of a luckless hedonist who rejoices in all things fictional at the expense of living his own life", as you might imagine, it's steeped into dark lyrical colours to match the music's gathering clouds.

The foreboding themed Days To Come billows with Doors reference points while the title track with its swellingly melodic chorus couches Nev's Pete Atkinish intonation and the songs folky bedrock within guitar work that recalls both Steve Wynn and Quicksilver Messenger Service's John Cipollina.

There's more vintage Scott Walker touchstones to This Is A Wave and A Little Joy (where they conjure his interpretations of Brel) while the five minute Roulette Sun unfolds like a Pink Floyd epic written in the heat of Death Valley with images of bleached out skies and long dead highs. Elsewhere the majestic Great Strange Dream utilises Bunnymen-esque phased guitars while Nev's voice reaches out to grab the shards of a fragmenting universe, Sound Of The End pulls it back to a slower, melancholic psychedelic blues rock ballad and the album builds to Cut Out's tumultuous climax of death, catharsis and rebirth. Quite frankly, awesome.
- Mike Davies - Netrhythms

"RAY / NME Live Review"

London based Ray serve as a potent antidote to the chaos of '05-model rock'n'roll. To create a hybrid of alt. country and gossamer indie this either requires a literary background, or the wisdom that comes with age.

But Ray are old souls trapped in young minds and utilising a strikingly economical musical approach.

Guitar notes hang in the air. Words are weighted then dispersed in the ether/ Singer Nev Bradford's spacey yet unpretentious songs definitely need his old-school croon at their centre. 'Blood and Gold', typically thematic, asks what dreams are worth. 'Valley of Sin' seems to condemn apathy and the poetic 'Music Dies' substitutes music for love.

Barely noticeable, but acutely present undercurrents of hostility, give the songs a serrated edge. Dele Fadele.
- NME / Dele Fadele


First Light (LP) - Rough Trade Records (Nov 2001)
Deep Blue Happy (LP) - Pito Records (Nov 2005)
Daylight In The Darkroom (LP) - Pito Records (Aug 2006)
Great Strange Dream (EP) - Pito Records (Mar 2007)
Death In Fiction (LP) - Pito Records (May 2008)

Radio play:
BBC 6music play for tracks from new LP (including Death In Fiction and Roulette Sun) on Gideon Coe and Tom Robinson shows.

New album playlisted at KEXP Seattle 90.3 FM - tracks played including Great Strange Deam, Cut Out and Godspeed to you the Avalanche.

Album plays in Germany including at Byte FM and Radio Fritz - plus good alternative Spanish, Canadian, Austrian and Australian (Triple R FM) airplay.



RAY biog

Young masters of English raincoat rock… lost in a world that is forever autumn. (Mojo)

""It's a stunner...Not retro; modern and now!" The Big Takeover

"Sweepingly majestic and savagely beautiful, a serious contender for best rock album of 2009. This cd ought to establish British rock quartet Ray as frontrunners for this year’s Mercury Prize"
Lucid Culture

about RAY…

Conceived in London by song-writing brothers Nev and Mark Bradford and initially spotted by Geoff Travis at Rough Trade, Ray are celebrating the release of Death In Fiction, their epic new album out now via Pito Records (PITOCD006) on CD LP and iTunes.

the RAY story so far ...

After enduring a pinball-like hammering into the blind recesses of the music industry, Ray broke free to record three independent and critically acclaimed studio albums: First Light (Rough Trade); Deep Blue Happy and Daylight In The Darkroom (both Pito).

While fifteen members have come and gone (amidst a fair few tantrums!) those Ritalin-soaked days are now but memories... The release of Death In Fiction represents a new era of stability, with Sheffield’s Chris Lowe firmly ensconced on the drum throne and the permanent addition of Northern Ireland’s Martin Tisdall on bass guitar.

Death In Fiction is an album that lays claim once and for all to the sonic soundscape Ray has always striven for. It’s a toughened up set of ten songs that flows dynamically from peak to ever-increasing peak whilst still preserving the charm and beauty of the band’s earlier work.

RAY have just completed a successful European tour, and are currently recording the follow up to Death In Fiction - which will be released in Spring 2010

For more info and FREE downloads please visit www.raytheband.com and www.myspace.com/raytheband