Frank Black - The Cult Of Ray

Track Listing:

  1. The Marsist
  2. Men in Black *
  3. Punk Rock City
  4. You Ain't Me *
  5. Jesus Was Right
  6. I Don't Want to Hurt You (Every Single Time) *
  7. Mosh, Don't Pass the Guy
  8. Kicked in the Taco
  9. The Creature Crawling
  10. The Adventure and the Resolution
  11. Dance War
  12. The Cult of Ray
  13. The Last Stand of Shazeb Andleeb

All written by Frank Black
Songs marked * were released as singles.


  • Frank Black: Vocals, Guitars, Producer
  • Nick Vincent: Bass, Drums
  • Lyle Workman: Guitar
  • Spot Boutier: Drums

Release Details:

Released 1996 on Rick Rubin's American label.

The Cult of Ray was Frank Black's third solo album, and the first album he made without any assistance from Joey Santiago. It marks a return to a more Pixie-ish sound for Frank; his first two albums (Frank Black and Teenager of the Year) had a lot of keyboards and synths (courtesy of ex Pere Ubu man Eric Drew Feldman) on them, but on The Cult Of Ray Frank returns to a more scuzzy guitar sound, kinda reminiscent of the Steve Albini-produced Surfer Rosa. That's not to say that The Cult Of Ray is as good as Surfer Rosa; some of the songs are a little boring.

The album title refers to people who read the works of Ray Bradbury. That's it.

Anyway. Highlights of the album, for me, are Men In Black and You Ain't Me, two great rocking tracks featuring excellent riffs and some pretty harmonies; the fairly groundbreaking opener The Marsist, which consists mainly of a half-spoken, half-sung stream-of-conciousness monologue over distorted guitar; Dance War and the title track, which are both poppy rock tunes, and the delightful old-fashioned love song I Don't Want To Hurt You (Every Single Time). Punk Rock City is a fairly good Jesus And Mary Chain style rocker, while The Last Stand of Shazeb Andleeb sounds a little like Bird Dream Of Olympus Mons from Trompe Le Monde.

Most of the rest of the album is kinda average, grungey, poppy rock. Mosh, Don't Pass The Guy and The Adventure And The Resolution are both fun instrumentals, while The Creature Crawling is a kinda murky, atmospheric affair.

All in all, it's a decent enough album; enjoyable for a fan, but if you're new to Frank's solo stuff, Frank Black or Dog In The Sand would probably be a better introduction, although The Cult Of Ray is probably a bit more accessible than Teenager Of The Year.

And the song itself...

The Cult of Ray

What is there to say?
Still I can`t be silent
Hear the cult of Ray
And you`ll be enlightened

People, they`re no fun
I saw Raymond speak one time, he said hello
And as he opened up my mind, so fried and battered
I heard his words so very fine
So high above this constant dripping chatter

Young sharks feeding on the scrapple
And upstarts feeding on your Adam`s apple
And you can`t hear yourself in all this babble
And are you feeling role strain

Melting rock into metal
Melting rock into metal
Melting rock into metal again

In a dark place
In the deep sky
Is an old man
Is an old man
In a coffee can
And he`s waiting
In the old rain
In the deep sky
And he`s waiting

Hear the cult of Ray
Fear the boy as tyrant
People have a way
When their mood is violent

People, They`re no fun
I have a century in mind, wait, oh no
At least two centuries in mind, say, it doesn`t matter
This rock is turning into sand
While we are drowning here in our own shatter

You can`t eat dirt cause it tastes so awful
Like no sugar in your Turkish coffee
And can`t smile cause I got me a mouthful
And I`ve been grinding this grain

Melting rock into metal
Melting rock into metal
Melting rock into metal again

In a dark place
In the deep water
Is an old man
In a coffee can
And he`s waiting
In the old rain

This is my 70th w/u - hoorah! I'm now Level 3! :)

Especially for call: Here's the cover art:

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