"Mazy Craniacs" (Neurosis / Neurotic; 2005 / 1979)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

If you’re even a casual fan of Rough Edge’s pages then you know we get a lot of material from the very prolific guitarist Rick Ray. Ray has provided us material from his solo act as well as his band projects. And now we’ve got another one – Neurotic.

Neurotic is a band fronted by Rick Ray circa 1979. “Mazy Craniacs” was recorded in one day back in 1979 and finally released a quarter of a century later. One of the things about Rick Ray is that his music always seems to fall in the guitar-based classic rock genre. It’s not something that ever got widespread acclaim, but it is comforting to listen to as it typically strikes the listener as music that is both confident and moving as only a self-assured artist can provide.

“Mazy Craniacs” is a different story, however. Imagine a progressive rock band sticking to some of the tried and true formulas of classic hard rock and you’ll get a feel for what Neurotic is all about. Essentially “Mazy Craniacs” presents Rick Ray in a less subtle, differently sophisticated, and harder-edged form. Most of the songs are instrumentals with a sense of structure as if the songs had been sketched out beforehand, but not without leaving some room for ‘happy’ mistakes and general risk-taking
that serves the musicians egos and the music/song in equal doses.

Neurotic’s “Mazy Craniacs” is yet another solid release from Rick Ray’s prolific catalog of recordings. Fans of rock instrumental guitar would be wise to check out Rick Ray and his various bands.

“Mazy Craniacs” was produced by Mike Peters and Neurotic. The overall sound of the recording is marginal at best, but the liner notes give the details behind that. Sometimes production just doesn’t capture the energy and vibe

Neurotic: Rick Ray on guitar and vocals, John Ray on bass, Rick Schultz on electric clarinet and bass clarinet, and Harvey Phillips on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2022 14:38:31 -0500.