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Gemma Ray: Island Fire

Martin Aston, bbc.co.uk, 2012

IT'S HARD TO IMPROVE on Bronze Rat's description of their own Gemma Ray as a "torch-singing, guitar-taming, pop-noir maverick". The Essex girl born Gemma Smith was PJ Harvey-like in her infancy, but today is something like a sumptuous pile-up of Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Françoise Hardy, Helen Shapiro, The Shangri-Las, a Harmony Rocket guitar stroked with a 8" carving knife and some other indefinable strands of DNA, the whole resembling some future ideal of rock'n'roll vintage.

Total word count of piece: 398

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