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Krayz - 1986 Dreamer

ALBUM: Dreamer
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 1986


LINEUP: Gary N. LaBarr - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Michael J. Marshall - vocals, bass, synthesizer * Mark Webster - drums * Gary Cory -

TRACK LISTING: 01 Love All Alone * 02 Take Me * 03 All I Need * 04 Follow The Sun * 05 Dreamer * 06 Don't Take The Music Away * 07 It's All Over * 08 Run For Your Life * 09 Forever Free

This was an obscure American band which I discovered sometime last year. If I recall, I found the file share on Usenet, which is an unusual place to find hard rock albums, especially those from the mid 80 s. Anyway, Krayz come from the same town as Duke Jupiter, Lou Gramm and Black Sheep - that being Rochester, upstate New York. The intriguing thing about this lot was the description afforded their reputation. Now if you can imagine some of the overblown descriptions that you see on CDs and LPs that are sold on eBay, then someone is obviously taking the piss. When someone described them as essential AOR, I perked up immediately thinking I had missed an album from a time frame which was my specialty. The truth is, this isn't AOR. More private release/indie based hard rock with some keyboard parts. The production was handled by Paul Curcio, who is a well known engineer in the region, having worked with Lou Gramm and been a member of groups such as the Mojo Men and J.P Racer.

The Songs
In terms of the band name I wasn't sure whether they were pronounced 'craze', or 'crazy'. It could be either or. What I do like about the band is two-fold. They do play with energy levels enhanced, plus the song arrangements and ideas are more than half decent. I like the galloping nature of 'Take Me', which reminds me of a few early 80's bands. It's a bit raw, and Canadian like in delivery, but has its moments. 'All I Need' is a punchy rocker with neat keyboard lines, in the vein of Jag Wire. Other highlights include the prog like 'Follow The Sun', 'Don't Take The Music Away', with its Angel like synth intro. It's All Over' is another to include keyboards and comes across quite well, as the chorus churns into a symphonic passage. The last tracks 'Run For Your Life' and 'Forever Free' turn into ham-fisted rockers, which undoes all the interesting work that came before.

In Summary
As a wrap, I can say that the album sounds particularly dated for 1986. It does give the appearance of an indie release from 1983 or thereabouts. If you see 'Dreamer' going for krazee money on sites like Popsike or Collectors Frenzy, then don't be fooled, and keep your hard earned cash in your pocket. In saying that, some of you might like to investigate this, as there are some interesting songs which you might like to pick the eyes out of. As a footnote, the band called it quits in 1987, after their three year stint together.

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