The XRAY5’s roots can be traced back to the Los Angeles post-punk scene, where their members honed their skills in bands like Idle Hands and Nobody’s Heroes. At the group’s helm stands Ray Arroyo, a multifaceted artist who serves as the founding member, lending his talents as a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist. Collaborating alongside him is his songwriting partner, Kerry Lambert, who assumes the role of bassist.
Their journey took a significant turn in 2018 when they embarked on the recording and release of an extended single aptly titled “GRAVITY.” Guided by a seasoned producer, the group transitioned to a cleaner sonic palette while still preserving the evocative ambiance of the 1980s, a hallmark of their signature sound. Notably, Ray Arroyo’s encounter with Twin Tribes during a performance in Los Angeles initiated a pivotal connection. This fortuitous meeting led to discussions about their recordings, and eventually led to a crucial referral to San Antonio musician Charlie Vela.
Now, they have unleashed Elegy, an 8-song LP reminiscent of the sound of The Editors, Psychedelic Furs, Echo & The Bunnymen, and even a little Wang Chung for good measure.
In the opening track, “Boston,” the album delves into the profound sense of isolation and loneliness that can pervade even the most crowded spaces, articulating the weighty burden of such feelings. This song sets the stage for a quest for solace and strength to combat the deep-seated loneliness that preys upon the mind.
Next, “Your Memory” brings forth a contemplative mood, evoking the poignant presence of a love lost. The imagery of a spectral figure under the moonlight captures a relationship that was once intimidating but now exists only in the past. The song is imbued with a yearning, as whispers of the wind and lingering memories create an atmosphere of longing for something just out of reach.”Obsession” follows, painting a portrait of a love that is intense and all-consuming, yet fleeting. It speaks to the ephemeral nature of passion, where the muse of daylight hours slips away with the setting sun, leaving a sense of loss in its wake.
In “Slither,” the album takes a turn, expressing regret and disillusionment within a relationship. The song’s repetitive chorus underscores a yearning to escape and move forward, portraying a sense of burden and a desperate need to break free from the current entanglements. “Dark Star” then shifts the focus to a deep desire for a meaningful connection. The lyrics reflect a yearning to be indispensable, cherished, and followed. The song explores themes of seeking personal growth, aspiring to rise above deceit and frailty, and the quest for enduring relevance. “In The Name of the Cross” is rich with historical allusions, painting a vivid tableau of conquest and conflict. References to a holy figure promising salvation and conquistadors brandishing swords offer a critical commentary on historical narratives driven by specific agendas.
The album’s penultimate track, “Lonely Place,” resonates with feelings of uncertainty and isolation. Exploring themes of deceit and betrayal, the song touches on the emptiness and ennui experienced in caring for someone who is absent, painting a melancholic picture of abandonment and unfulfilled desire. Concluding the album, “Miles Away” eloquently captures a deep sense of yearning, regret, and nostalgia for a love that is no longer present. The song poignantly articulates the emotional pain of separation, weaving together images of starlit longing and the bittersweet traces of memories left behind.
Elegy is now available on streaming platforms via the Hush Ltd. label from Los Angeles.
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During the pandemic, The XRAY5’s Ray Arroyo had the opportunity to focus on songwriting and recording with an unprecedented intensity. This led to a substantial body of work, culminating in the release of the band’s first album, INVERSE, in December 2020. While some of the tracks were produced by Charlie Vela, a significant portion was meticulously self-produced. The album was well-received across various musical circles, earning admiration from listeners far and wide.
Over the following months, Ray came up with the idea of creating a short concert film that would capture the essence of the band. In May 2021, this vision became a reality when they collaborated with Matthew Knox from The Antennae to record a live performance. To enhance the ensemble for this special event, Ray enlisted the talents of drummer Jason Wise and guitarist Rick Marz. The experience was immensely gratifying, prompting Rick to make a full-time commitment to The XRAY5. Following this collective enthusiasm, they treated fans to a captivating rendition of the Psychedelic Furs classic, “Love My Way.”
In July of 2022, The XRAY5 unveiled their poignant EP titled Requiem, a heartfelt tribute to Ray’s late mother, who had passed away just a month prior.
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