Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

S.F.'s Exray's Make a Strong Contender for Weedhead Album of the Year

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM


Listen to this while high: Exray's self-titled debut album.


Behind the buzz:
These guys might well feel done out of their due-and-proper at last Friday night's Noise Pop gig at the Bottom of the Hill. Various sonic impedimenta marred what sounded to me like very promising material, so it seems only fair to twist off a number to this talented duo's self-titled album (out early last month on Howells Transmitter). An instrumental version of "Hesitation" wound up on the soundtrack of last year's hit movie The Social Network and The Exrays play SXSW on March 16th and 17th.

Today's dope: A brazen indica dubbed Afghani 4-Way, guaranteed to stone you north, south, east, and Go West, and perfect for remaining rooted in one spot for the standard 12-track ya-ya of a rock LP.

  • Exray's

Ignition: "You Forgot" is an ominous enough beginning, with its doomy pulses and lyrical babble of torn safety nets and forgetting to disappear. Jon Bernson's voice has an earnest intensity, as if Anthony Perkins had given up throwing Mom's voice and taken up musique concrète. The rude asides about feet are a nicely rabid Pet Sound that segues into "Mary Hollow," a lurching Lennonesqe romp about a phantasmal girl with sun shining through her skin. The catgut squeal in the bridge is invigorating, but the urge to get up and pogo is squelched by the 4-Way.

Pictures at a Translucent Exhibition: "Make a Prediction" is a short Randy Newmanesque WTF? with a fakeroo ending as grin-inducing as any 1968 Carnaby Street psych nugget. "Hesitation" with the dire opening "The world's become a factory" presaging a fine ear-pleasing game of rising tension followed by a long instrumental-prog release that makes a few radio-dial veers into abstract sound and samples before leading into the gummy "Discolandia." After this skronk, the delicate Harrisonoid "Stolen Postcard Sun" seems even more ephemeral, like some winsome White Album track you barely notice go by. "Forest of Sand" is another slight-yet-durable melody run through the blunderbuss works, as is "La Palma." "Enemy" resolves itself into a glittery, gloomy scene dirge before disintegrating into "When I Was You," the emotional peak of the record. The rest is car exhaust and percussion until it ends and you realize you've giggled away the buzz.

Psychoactive verdict: A ridiculously early contender for Weedhead Album of the Year.

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ron Garmon @RockyRedGlare, and like us at

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Ron Garmon


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"