Mark Harrison is the creator of AlpahRays7 which is a one-man studio project. Early on Mark Harrison travelled the world for inspiration to write music. One of the most interesting travels was to Katmandu and the Mountains around. Of the whopping 19-track new album, “Nuns Decipher”, Mark says: “It’s been 2 years in the making and a lot of work. The musical influences for this Album are David Bowie, Radio Head and life.”
The Alpharays7 sound has been described as “glitter rock for the new decade; an effete, sophisticated version of a moment in time (when psychedelic folk met glam), that reinstates the convention of British pop/rock as mystique.”
“Nuns Decipher” works like a summary of Mark Harrison’s creative sources. It is raw, yet refined, polyphonic, hybrid, and plural in stylistic and artistic terms. The vocals, musical textures and songwriting vary from track to track. A cross-pollination of Brian Eno, Iggy Pop and David Bowie with just a dash of Billy Idol swagger!
It has an urgent 60’s and 70’s eclecticism with a distantly modern, never nostalgic sound, maintaining a tangible melancholic and dark tone throughout. The album gets off to a great start with the mid-tempo rocker “Stars In Your Eyes”, the quirky yet catchy guitar riffs of “Monkey Magic”, and the awesome Bowie-like vocals on “Never Get Old”.
Yes, the Bowie-like vocals is a haunting factor throughout the album, as Mark Harrison’s tones and inflections heavily resemble those of the ‘Thin White Duke’; a voice able to solidly characterize the album’s rockers, as well as craftily carry the softer songs like “Mother Gun” and the mellow “Ol Soul Dreamers”.
Other strong tracks on the album include “Heat”, “After We Leave”, “Too Hot At Night”, the driving title track “Nuns Decipher”, and the epic finale “Apache Spirit”, but nineteen tracks gives you a wide choice to find your own personal favorites.
Harrison has colorfully melded the unique spontaneity of the trademark seventies sound; with a cultured, seasoned and relentlessly gritty, post-apocalyptic sound. Powerful rockers insinuate their riffs around your brain like elegantly twisting lightning bolts, bent on catapulting you into one forgotten dimension after the next. While the slower songs entrance and encapsulate your moods and emotions, transporting them into the fairyland of acid and psychedelia.
This album is a huge accomplishment, like a retrospective of rock’s glorious past, with all new material that incorporates every tool at Mark Harrison and his AlpahRays7 project’s disposal.
Maybe this album is not for everyone. But if you have ever adored the 60’s and 70’s music scene or have a penchant for eclectic and gritty Brit-edged pop-rock, “Nuns Decipher” is for you!
OFFICIAL LINKS: Soundcloud – CdBaby