June 23 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA
by Dagmar Patterson
The Seattle-based quartet Razrez takes their name from the Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange. As a verb it means to tear. As a noun razrez is rage. Or anger. It may be anger that drives them, but whatever it is, this band revels in performing. This was their night and the release party for their EP, The Dirty Beat.
Befitting a band that lists Roxy Music and T. Rex as influences, the image is nearly as important as the music. This does not hamper their genuine musical credibility. Onstage frontman Aykut ÷zen, clad in red boots and tight red trousers, was flanked by lead guitarist Chris Quinn and bassist Chris Duryee, with drummer Jason Reavis situated close to center stage. Their music combines funk with equal bits glam rock and the best of danceable synth - but without a synthesizer live - into sharp and unsettling melodies. Each element is strong, from the virile vocals and sensuous rhythms to the twirling guitars. "The Fascist" and "Snake" were highlights and when every member of the band sang together, "I wonít bite you/till you love me," it was obviously seductive to the predominantly female audience.
Much has been made of Razrez possessing the ability to make people dance. This is true and pursued by the band, who invite the crowd onstage. Itís a tactic that works, and is most effective when three-quarters of the band invade the audience. Razrez rages with beauty and desire.