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The BellRays Return with “Heavy Steady Go!”

todayJune 14, 2024 9

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The BellRays Return with “Heavy Steady Go!” and Upcoming Tour with Social Distortion.

Riverside’s Punk Rock and Soul Pioneers Set to Release New Album and Hit the Road

By Ace Hartmann | Racketeer Broadcast Association  | 

The BellRays, the iconic band from Riverside, California, are back with a new album and an exciting tour. Anchored by the dynamic duo of Robert Vennum and Lisa Kekaula, the band has been a fixture in the punk, rock, and soul scenes since their formation in 1990. Known for their DIY ethos and genre-blending sound, The BellRays continue to push musical boundaries with their latest album, Heavy Steady Go! set to release on August 30, 2024.

Over the past three decades, The BellRays have carved out a unique space in the music world. Their sound is a powerful mix of punk, funk, rock, and soul, driven by an unwavering commitment to authenticity and artistic freedom. “We created a band and music based on what we love,” explains Kekaula and Vennum. This love and passion are evident in every note they play, and their latest album is no exception.

The band’s signature sound can be encapsulated by a simple formula: Emotion + energy = excitement. This formula is the backbone of Heavy Steady Go!, which builds on their well-established style while introducing new elements and nuances. “We’ve heard ourselves described by some variation as ‘Tina Turner fronting AC/DC’ or ‘Motorhead meets Aretha Franklin’ which comes with an expectation to be that every time,” says Vennum. “We are expected to be something that does not exist.”

For The BellRays, defying genre conventions and embracing their unique sound has always been a source of strength. “We stand apart and reactions like ‘not punk enough’, ‘not rock enough’, and ‘THAT’S not soul’ only fuel us more,” says Kekaula. “We revel in our fearlessness to share what’s in our heads and hearts whether it’s understood or not. The most important thing is that we believe what we write and what we play. Our songwriting comes from a place that’s really deep and wide and in Heavy Steady Go! we realized that what we had created came from the impact point of this crater.”

The recording of Heavy Steady Go! took place over two years and two cities, featuring two incredible rhythm sections. The Tucson, AZ sessions included Mark Cisneros (bass) and Ron Miller (drums) from Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds. Later sessions at the band’s own Sweet Gee Studios in Riverside, CA, saw the return of past drummer Craig Waters and the arrival of Nico Miles on bass. Vennum and Kekaula seamlessly produced both sessions, resulting in an album they describe as “a festival in album form”—a powerful, concentrated mashup of contrasting styles and musical collaborations.

Heavy Steady Go! pays homage to the many artists who have inspired The BellRays. “We pay homage to Tom Petty, Bon Scott, Fleetwood Mac, Howlin’ Wolf, Cheap Trick, Betty Davis, and dozens of others that inspired this album” the duo explains. “We wrote and crafted these songs looking at ourselves through the lens of the iconic sounds we heard growing up.” The result is an album that honors the past while forging a bold path forward. In conjunction with the release of Heavy Steady Go!,

The BellRays will embark on a U.S. and Canadian tour with legendary punk rock band Social Distortion. This tour promises to bring their electrifying live performances to a wider audience, showcasing the energy and excitement that have made The BellRays a beloved fixture in the music scene. With the release of Heavy Steady Go! and their upcoming tour, The BellRays are set to remind the world why they remain one of the most innovative and exciting bands in the punk and soul genres. Don’t miss the chance to experience their electrifying sound live this fall.


Written by: Ace Hartmann

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