THE RICK RAY BAND – Nothing To Lose

THE RICK RAY BAND - Nothing To Lose
  • 5/10
    THE RICK RAY BAND - Nothing To Lose - 5/10


Neurosis Records
Release date: March 5, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Rick Ray can thank Ed Sullivan for kick-starting his career as a musician. The year was 1964 and Rick Ray witnessed the Fab 4 perform on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time. Since that time, play music is all he ever wanted to do. In 1966, somewhere between the age of 6 going on 7, Rick’s wish finally came true when he got his own electric guitar. From that point on, as they say, the rest is history.

The Rick Ray Band has gone through several transformations since its original inception back in 1973. First the band was called Neurotic, which later became The Rick Ray Band (version 1), followed by Riot Act, and finally as it is known today, The Rick Ray Band (version 2). The line-up consists of vocalist Alex Abraham, bassist Jack Ambrose, drummer Sam “PJ” Glorioso, reed player Rick Schultz, and last, but not least, Rick Ray whose talent list includes guitar, keyboards, vocals, and guitar synthesizer. The latest release is entitled Nothing To Lose.

The Rick Ray Band has opened for a Who’s Who list of incredibly talented bands over the span of their career. With many releases under their belt since 1999, it makes you curious and anxious at the same time as what to expect. Are these guys really that good as their reputation precedes them? Perhaps an examination of their latest release can shed some light on who they really are.

Nothing To Lose takes some concentrated focus to fully comprehend. The reed section (or horns) that are used should either be eliminated or changed, as it does not fit well with this type or style of music. More importantly, the vocalist, Alex Abraham, sounds as if he was trying too hard to sing. Often he sounds strained, trying to accentuate almost every word he sings with vibrato or some form of it. Positively, the drumming and bass playing is quite exceptional, and both musicians more than hold their own throughout the entire song list. Rick Ray, surprisingly enough, comes through as nothing more than an average guitarist, at least on this album. There are no real signs of guitar flashiness, brilliance, dominance, or even a solo worthy enough to catch your attention.

The album, as it stands, contains five decent songs, four take it or leave it songs, and three can do without songs (one of which is a remake, “Back To the River”). Of the five decent songs, there isn’t one that is so good that it can be considered a hit. These songs are “There’s Always A Catch,” “Living In Sin,” “Hands Of Circumstance,” the title track “Nothing To Lose,” and “Across The Bridge Of Time.” The remainders are either take it or leave it, or just plain so so, bordering on not too good.

“Hands Of Circumstance” and “If We’re Silent” sound alike in many ways. The bass playing is very noticeable and has a very nice sound to it. Jack Ambrose seems quite busy in these tunes and appears to be playing in the foreground and background at the same time, if that is understandable. The last minute of “Hands …” adds a nice touch to the overall quality of the song.

The title track “Nothing To Lose,” though decent, takes some time in developing. Once it gets going, however, it has a nice running bass line and very active percussion. It appears as if they are trying to do some sort of Jazz Improv thing, but it never amounts to much. The one downfall is that Rick sounds like he’s trying to find just the right guitar solo near the end of the song, but never gets there.

The only other song worth writing about is the last one, “Across The Bridge Of Time.” It seems that Rick has found the solo he was looking for in the last song, and opens up with it on this track. A very nice jam develops in this one.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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