Augusta-based Violent Rays mix Jimi Hendrix and grunge for show at the Wormhole

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Violent Rays, a grungy blues-rock band from Augusta are making their return to the Wormhole on Friday with friends Easily Amused and Mishapen.

The first time Violent Rays played at the Savannah venue, it was a dark and stormy night which put a damper on the turnout. Hopefully nicer weather will encourage a bigger crowd this time, because they put on a rocking show.

Violent Rays formed 2019 with Daulton Reed on drums, Drake Randazzo on lead guitars, Justin Hart on bass, and Caleb Harmon with powerhouse lead vocals. The band is equally inspired by classic rock like Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix, and 90s grunge like Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, which is why they refer to their sound as “Hendrix vibes in flannel.”

“We don’t go, ‘Hey, lets try to make this riff like this.’,” Reed said of their songwriting process. “It happens more subconsciously. Now ‘White Lady’ is definitely derivative of a Jimi Hendrix riff, but.."

The band have released three singles so far, all featuring trippy 70s sci-fi art like the kind you find on cheap pulp book covers. Nothing conveys a classic rock vibe like skulls in space. “Thats definitely the look we were going for,” Reed confirmed. “We want them to look like they go together.”

Violent Rays’ most recent single, “Picking Up the Pieces” is a Sabbath-paced stomper, but their upcoming release, “Mania,” strips down to acoustic guitar.

“It’s sounds a lot like ‘Sap,’ Alice in Chains’ first demo they put out,” Reed explained. “It’s more stripped back, and more laid back than the other stuff we’ve done.”

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Violent Rays plan to continue releasing a new single every month until they complete an EP of all new material to be released in the late spring/early summer.

Joining Violent Rays at the Wormhole are their friends Easily Amused, an indie-funk band also from Augusta, and young punks Mishapen. Although Mishapen’s sound is rawer than Violent Rays, they fit right in on the bill.

“Those guys are definitely punk rock, but they have a lot of grunge in them, too,” said Reed. “Kind of like Nirvana was punk, but also did their own thing. That is one of their heavy influences, but those guys are good and entertaining to watch.”

Look for Violent Ray’s new single “Mania” on all streaming services January 21.

IF YOU GO

What: Violent rays w/ Mishapen and Easily Amused

When: Friday at 10 p.m.

Where: The Wormhole, 2307 Bull Street

Cost: FREE

Info: wormholebar.com

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Augusta-based Violent Rays mix Jimi Hendrix and grunge for show at the Wormhole