New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Ray Phillips Official Website)
Musician Ray Phillips, probably best known for his role as original drummer and founding member of legendary 1970's Welsh rockers BUDGIE, has completed his very first solo album entitled "Judgement Day."
Here, Ray excels in presenting an album of reflection, honesty, belief and a dash of subtle beauty that could possibly win masses of affection.
Lovingly crafted over a period of three years, Judgement Day manages to address the corruption, destruction and sheer shambolic state of the modern world, in it's own clever and sedate way, without getting into the realms of the mundane political, that can so often destroy the music. Yet it's also an album of incredible personal reflection; the more tender acoustic tracks driven by expressive melodies, providing a case in point for the nurture and love of oneself.
More than just a musical excursion from a long-time renown rock musician, it's the voice of concern, reasoning and understanding - the lyrics, from which true meaning can be derived. The work incorporates honest outspoken observations, so often explicit in their painful truths. It comes straight from the heart.
Musically, Ray edges tentatively from his heavy pounding rock history into a more diverse form of composition that literally opens up like a flower to reveal yet more colour and contrast, and also goes some way to present Ray Phillips in an alternative light - that of a multi-instrumentalist.
Strong subjects, sensitive melodies, immaculate arrangements which all border on concept album 'strength of message,' plus thoughtful vulnerable acoustic reflections very reminiscent of Pink Floyd - some swinging to the more dramatic focus while others remain a mere message of the angels and spirit. That's not to say you wont hear the odd heavier guitar riff, or indeed those signature, well placed, rock steady drums - Judgement Day offers up plenty.
For Ray, a veteran to the music scene, it all began back in late 1967 in Cardiff, South Wales, when he and bassist vocalist Burke Shelley teamed up with lead guitarist Tony Bourge to form what went on to become one of the most influential rock bands of the 1970s.
During a time when the war-bomber guitar riff ruled supreme, it was no surprise when a music journalist likened the power trio's sound to be more in keeping with that of a "six-ton" budgie. SIX TON BUDGIE would become the bands pre-recording name.
The original lineup was always going to be a tough act to follow and it remains a fact - even today. Many hardcore fans would agree that nothing quite competes with the raw driving energy that was created by these fine Welsh birds of a feather, although many incarnations of the band have existed since, the original trio possessed a unique chemistry.
BUDGIE would sign a five-album international deal with MCA in 1970 after auditioning at Rockfield Studios in Wales for Roger Bain, a producer who had also been working with a band called BLACK SABBATH. Roger Bain went on to produce the early albums of both BUDGIE and BLACK SABBATH, and in later years the debut by JUDAS PRIEST. The majority of their early albums rocked hard, while contrast was also applied in the form of gentle ballads containing some remarkable melodies. BUDGIE also gave the impression they didn't take life too seriously with quirky song titles such as "Crash Course in Brain Surgery", "Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman" and "Hot as a Dockers Armpit" - all of which couldn't fail to raise an eyebrow or two. The sound was classic Roger Bain - sparse and separated yet it came across "heavier than air."
BUDGIE were, of course, one of those bands well worthy of attention, but somehow got overlooked by their critics as the years passed by. This was no reflection on their ability or impact. The heavy down-tuned guitar riffs produced by lead guitarist Tony Bourge were on par with those of BLACK SABBATH's Tony Iommi. Burke Shelley's punchy bass and high pitched vocals were likened to early Geddy Lee, and Ray Philips (who employed double bass drums) had a style resulting in an endless powerhouse similar to that of both John Bonham and Bill Ward.
BUDGIE were widely considered as one of the first heavy metal bands and a seminal influence on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) and Ray would later emerge in the early 1980s with the launch of TREDEGAR (alongside Tony Bourge who departed BUDGIE in 1978).
Although BUDGIE were never more than a cult band in the United States, their influence was felt by many notable American bands. Highly respected by the likes of METALLICA, who went on record as having credited BUDGIE as their major influence, while SOUNDGARDEN -who emerged from the Seattle grunge scene covered "Homicidal Suicidal". Interestingly, METALLICA, SOUNDGARDEN and IRON MAIDEN all covered/performed songs selected from the first three BUDGIE albums - arguably the band's finest offerings. The said albums all featured Ray Philips on drums - whom Alex Van Halen claimed as an influence. VAN HALEN - originally discovered by Gene Simmons who produced their 15-song demo, went on to be a huge household name. More recently, Irish rock band SWEET SAVAGE performed a version of BUDGIE's "Breadfan" at the 2008 Wacken Open Air festival in Germany.
They Ray Phillips solo debut is available to order NOW from Ray's website located at: https://therayphillipsband.wordpress.com and will be made available via Amazon and Itunes in due course.
1. For the Love of Cleo
2. Just Another Love Song
3. Truth About Music
5. Redneck Riviera
6. Judgement Day (Part 1)
7. Judgement Day (Part 2)
8. Your Best Friend
9. Song to a Friend
10. Cover You with Love
11. I Asked the Angels
12. Another Day, Another Night
13. Lost in Life
14. Angels Calling
15. Sea of Ayr
You can now follow Ray on Twitter @squawk1972
You can also keep up with all the Ray Phillips news by logging onto the Ray Phillips official MySpace site.