"Everyone's Dead" (Independent; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Null Rays' "Everyone's Dead" reminds me of Blue Line's "Hit Kickin''" on Noiseasaurus Records. Of course, that means jack shit to everyone reading this review because I think I've got one of only fifteen CDs ever produced by that band. (But, if you're curious, you can read that review here).

Like "Hit Kickin'," "Everyone's Dead" does everything in its power not be categorized. As often as it sounds like raw punk a la The Clash ("Alive") , it sounds like raw alternative ("Good Enough"). Sometimes it pulses ("Other Side of the River") and sometimes it purrs ("Teardrops in the Rain"). Sometimes it's funny ("Pussywhipped") and sometimes deadly serious ("Pussywhipped"). Yeah, I meant what I said.

You may have noticed my double use of the word "raw" above. There's a reason for that: "Everyone's Dead" is as rough, loose and raw as they come. It feels like 100% honest music. You actually feel that what you hear on this album is what the band performed in the studio. It's feels real and genuine and pure.

 It's a fascinating track-by-track journey that just moves along at its own pace and direction and hopes that you'll follow along ... but doesn't really care if you don't.

The album ends with three "remastered" tunes that I'm assuming are new versions of tracks from a previous album. All three of these tunes are a little more atmospheric than the rest of "Everyone's Dead," but they cap off the recording as an interesting trilogy.

In their press release, Null Rays claim that they sound like "Faith No More, Soundgarden, Dead Kennedys, Alice in Chains, Eagles of Death Metal, Monster Magnet, and Guns N' Roses." And, yeah, at times they do. But they sound like a whole bunch of other bands here, too.

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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 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.