16 September 2023

THE STRIPED BANANAS – Rayguns Of Love (2023, LP/CD Cosmic Sunshine Records)




Label: Cosmic Sunshine Records

Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Black Vinyl (Gold-foil stamped copies from 1 to 100, Rice Paper anti-static inner sleeves), 100 copies

Format: CD, Album, Limited Edition

Release Date: 23 June 2023

The Striped Bananas are back with a new exciting album entitled “Rayguns Of Love”! The Striped Bananas are a ‘well-known’ band to the readers of TimeMaZine, as we hosted in the past reviews (“Dreams Upon The Mast”, LP 2021) / / “Pictures I Hear”, LP 2020) and also an interview so I will skip any more info about the band but I will provide the musicians that took part in this album. So, it’s Chantelle Shepard (Vocals, Hammond, and Vox Organs), Duncan Shepard (Vocals, Electric Guitars, Bass, Sitar, Mellotron & Mandolin), James Knoerl (Drums), Kelly O’Donohue and Harry Cooper (Horns on Oh Clara), and Maciej Mustafa Gizejewski (Tabla and percussion on title track).

Also, Duncan provided this info about the album:

“The Striped Bananas 7th LP was recorded throughout 2022. It marks a new milestone in the development of their modern melodic garage rock and psychedelic sound.
The album is split into two sections.
Side 1: Blast Off! Slices of garage rock and power pop that make your feet move. Feel Good medicine.
Side 2: Chill Out – Relax your mind and get lost in the grooves. Picture yourself in your favorite chair, drifting along with the music.
Duncan’s father, a staunch supporter of the outfit since their genesis, passed away after a battle with cancer in August 2022. This album is dedicated to him.

Artwork by the brilliant Sara Gossett and Steve Krakow (Plastic Crimewave)…”

“Rayguns Of Love” consists of 10 tracks in total, 5 on each side of the LP album. Each song is clock-ticking from 2:04min to 3:49min. The opener “Midnight’s Girl” is a powerful Groovy Rock n’ Roller sung by Duncan, while his hot guitar licks refer to that sweet innocent early 70s Rock days… “Kicks For Life” is one of my Top-3 favorites in here, is a faster song, sung by Chantelle, a track full of energy, adrenaline, pounding drums, shimmering guitars… “Good Times” is another power-poppy tune filled with some groovy harmonies and some late 60s Garage-Rock while “Polina The Night Witch” has a nice melody dressed with Pop and Psych, a well-crafted little piece of beauty! “Oh Clara” is a cooler track, with a dynamic Poppy orchestration, flirting with Soul (blame the Horns for that!) while that heavenly-wandering guitar riff, certainly steals the show! Side “B” opens with “Devil Girl Dancing On The Moon” and as Duncan explained earlier, this is the “chill-out” side, there’s a 180 degrees turn on the band’s musical direction, there’s a more Psych-ier approach to the music while the presence of late-60s-Beatles is more than obvious, cool! Another personal highlight is “Triage Of The Damned”, a groovy Beatlesque song that shines through a Mellotron melody, a track that acts like a chill-out fantastic piece of Popsike art! Genius! “Follie Florentine” (my 3rd personal by the way), is another chilling tune with a groovylicious melody, deeply inspired by the late 60s Garage-y Folk-a-days of the West Coast while the Mellotron towards its end (or is it Hammond?) literally kicks ass! “The Old Red Tree” is a balladesque song, with a sing-a-long-infront-of-a-fire-in-the-woods-late-at-night feeling, a track that is filled with some Procol Harum melancholy where you can literally hear the guitar’s grievance that turns to sorrow… The album comes to an end with the self-titled “Rayguns Of Love”, a 12-string acoustic guitar laced with some sweet Sitar sounds creating a kind of a Country-ish Pop ballad emerging a nostalgic feeling… Well, despite the short duration (less than half an hour), the journey, I may say was quite enjoyable filled with some ‘sweet good old’ Rock n’ Roll music, quite melodic while towards the end it unexpectedly managed to drift me away, not so far, but for sure somewhere more chiller… A rather Good album, indeed! TimeLord Michalis



A1 Midnight’s Girl 2:30
A2 Kicks for Life 2:04
A3 Good Times 2:41
A4 Polina the Night Witch 2:50
A5 Oh Clara 3:49
B1 Devil Girl Dancing On the Moon 2:33
B2 Triage of the Damned 2:25
B3 Follie Florentine 2:43
B4 The Old Red Tree 3:16
B5 Rayguns of Love 2:57




Get it through THE STRIPED BANANAS Bandcamp




Leave a Reply