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REVIEWS



KRAYS made the Bully Mag Top Ten for 2002
The Krays - A Time For Action
Most of the music that was passed off for punk in the past year was weak, watered-down, corporate-sponsored crap. Thankfully, there were the Krays, one of the better acts on the TKO Records label, who delivered a balls out punk album die-hard punks had been waiting for. With a Discharge attitude and a Minor Threat playing style, these guys have a killer sound that is everything good about America's street punk movement and the complete antithesis of the pop-punk horror infesting on our land.
 

Third album (first for TKO) from this veteran NY band, and it is a fuckin’ masterstroke. The perfect model for my argument against punk rocks reliance on genre-defining comfort zones. Those who swim solely in shallow end of the Epitaph pond would most likely steer clear labels like TKO, Outsider and GMM for fear of drowning in the enormous roster of bands on the street and circa 77 punk circuits. I tend to think your card carrying members of the Confederacy of Scum and street scenes wouldn’t be caught within a five mile radius of an Epitaph release as well (Rancid and Agnostic Front not included). And both camps should be throttled with the unity stick and given a copy of the new Krays record. That’ll set em straight. Cause if you can imagine the perfect world where Pennywise and The Varukers share a tour bus, than this is your utopia. Or G.B.H. hittin’ the road with Bad Religion. It used to happen...And this Krays record is proof positive of the potency of such a blend; raw, ripping guitars and solid full-throttle rhythms (before math rock metal) as the backdrop to shout-along harmonies and husky but melodic vocals that you can actually make out as speaking words of rebellion and change. I’m getting all fuckin’ misty just thinking about it…And a diverse affair as well; varying the tempos, harmonies and licks to deliver another dynamic to the stellar songwriting. The opener “Troubled Times”, “Invincible” or the epic “You Bastards” should have you Pennywise fans diving for the TKO catalog (and that is by no means a bad thing); a damn swell of cover of Toxic Reasons’ “No Pity” to boot! (T.R.’s ‘Independence’ is a monumental record). There is mentions of UK classics the Ruts and Menace in the same breath as this, but I am gonna go out on a limb and say this has more fire the even those great bands. Don’t sell yourself short by pigeonholing on this one; this is one absolutely amazing record (and already slotted in my year-end top ten). Thick sound (by Agnostic Front-man Roger Miret, so there’s your Epitaph segue), rocking melodic tunes with shout-along harmonies, a great layout with quality lyrics; it all ads up to an world class slab of punk rock that knows no boundaries. Absolutely essential.

- Michael Farr
 

By Ken Wohlrob
 

The Krays
A Time For Action
TKO Records
www.tkorecords.com

Despite the fact that they've been playing hi-quality, straight up, angry as all fuck, politically charged punk music for over eight years now, the Krays have remained underground legends while most of the mainstream punk world ignores them. Then again, that's okay for the Krays as they're hellbent on playing hi-octane street punk that resonates with hardcore punk fans - in essence their punks' punks.
The album wastes no time getting off to a fired up start with "Troubled Times" and "When Times Are Clear," both played in that wide open hyper aggressive style the band is known for. Their feet are planted firmly in the foundation set by bands like Bad Religion, Minor Threat, and MIA. "Invincible" and the cover of Toxic Reason's "No Pity" both have the biting political lyrics ("People of America it's time to hear the truth / Ask yourself America, do they frighten you." ) that have been lacking too much from punk these days.
Most of the original songs are crafted by Jon Rosado, aka Johnny Kray. This gives a definitive style to The Krays tunes, where "Living Backwards," "She Said," and "You Bastards" all flow nicely together and share the aggressiveness and 70s punk sound that is the band's signature. The guitar work by Johnny and Murat is blistering even at it's mellowest and there is no let up throughout the 13 tracks.
With a Discharge attitude and a Minor Threat playing style, these guys have a killer sound that is everything good about America's street punk movement and the complete antithesis of the pop-punk horror infesting on our land.
 

****

GRRRRRRRR….This is the fucking punk I get off on - Loud, blazing styles with sing-alongs that romp ass regardless of how many times they’re replayed. The Krays come courtesy of TKO Records, an awesome record label that doesn’t bother wasting its time with anything that isn’t musically chafed and raw, and A Time For Action is just as energetically incendiary as another stunning release from that company this year.

The Richie Whites and their self-titled outing could have been thrown on a disc alongside The Krays quick-strike moments and the result would be the perfect split-disc from punk-rock hell. If The Krays are your bag, there’s no fucking way to sit still during the stellar "Your Own Personal War" and that huge collision course of a chorus, easily their violent-prone highlight here.

All right, so not everything in this lucky 13 offering is ridiculously good back-alley gold and the good but not great stuff outnumbers the amazing material. So what! There’s enough to keep one’s blood boiling over when these gents are in the zone. The ultra-raw punk rock glory, slammed home on the distorted exclamation of The Krays dual guitar attack, of "Invincible" is exactly what its title proclaims it to be.

Add in the solid rock opener of "Troubled Times," the pissed-and-dangerous "Mindless Army" and one awesome illustrated CD cover (an insignificant thing in the long run but still,) and this is one Krays-d and reckless release.
 

The Krays - A Time For Action (TKO Records)
by Michael Ballue
 

13 blasts of old school punk rock madness from New York's The Krays. TKO is definitely a great haven for punk bands with a feel for the roots and A Time For Action is no exception. This one would have been right at home coming out on one of those 80's English labels like No Future or Riot City.

The guitars bite, the vocals snarl but the toon always shines through, even on the faster songs like "She Said". While the 80's English street punk roots are definitely the most prevalent aspect of the sound, there's a little of that old early U.S. punk sound also like a little dash of The Adolescents or something. There are no duff tracks here, all good stuff, but one in particular "Invincible" really stands out. That one's a stone classic if you love this kind of music.

Another quality release from TKO, spike up your hair, dig that studded leather jacket out of your closet and pogo to this one!
 

* The Krays - "A Time For Action" (TKO)
TKO records is a fine and consistent label, but every once in a while one of their releases stands out above the others. The Krays latest is such a beast. Fuel-injected old school punk rock 'n' roll with aggression. Great rhythm section and guitar blasting galore. In the vein of The Bodies (another winner for TKO!). Check out older Krays releases. Excellent as well.

The Krays • A Battle For the Truth •   The Krays prove themselves to be great lyricists and one of the rays of hope for punk rock despair. Unafraid to tweak their vocals in the studio, this CD's production does them justice on the faster and slower numbers. Influenced by late 70's/early 80's punk and rock and roll, The Krays have put out one of the best punk rock records I've heard in a long time. They, like most punk bands, are not getting rich off their efforts, so validate them and give this a listen, dammit.

A NYC fixture of the street Punk scene since '94, The Krays' tear it up and let it loose with a barrage of One Man Army-inspired behavior bantering in an us against them posture that'd make Anti-Flag and The Business stand up, salute, and soil their trousers. While the first two discs are relative unknowns to myself, I'd never dare suggest their third set here is no less severe, no less serious or lyrically mobile than either of their others.
"A Time For Action" boasts thirteen tracks of unilaterally aimed finger pointers that ride a little more bang for buck drumming giving rise to the message of aggression, manage to carry on better than the usual two to three minute gaps yet ably redirecting a three chord standardization that's so often piggy-backed from one to another… at least once we've moved past the first three tracks and final blows from "Your Own Personal War" are struck, there's when the rocket to reckoning readies for lift off. Seriously effective with the slightest use of melody and choral unity such like a Bad Religion, or those typically of the more "core" variety from their revisited digs, The Krays' "A Time For Action" is a fall between of early age Epitaph label pioneers and second wave legionnaires of a UK bricks scene.

With a dollar and a dare, few minor key changes, and a Motorheaded motor mouth built for volume, voice, speed and sincerity, it's a tone that commands respect and demands immediate reaction.
by Vinnie Apicella 3 & 1/2 stars Music Reviewer.com

KRAYS • "Time For Action" • CD- 18€ ......... The third and arguably best studio album from New York City punk killers the KRAYS. Standing apart from the usual crowd of mohicans and
stud-boys, the band unleashes a fierce bite of melodic yet aggressive punk in the vein of faves the Ruts and Menace.

THE KRAYS - A BATTLE FOR THE TRUTH -
The Krays have a good sense of melodic chord structure, bands like Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks come to mind. They definitely have the power and the energy of the early eighties bands. "Battle" and "Truth," really stick out from the rest of the album. Non-stop anger and aggression, what a great mix. A must have for streetpunks. B. Bradshaw