Review by Anthony Nguyen & Staff
The W.A M. Awards celebrate the year’s most outstanding independent artists from around the world in multiple genres and categories. "Best Song" and "Best Album" nominations were based on Artistry, Musicianship, Originality, Professionalism, Diversity, and Excellence. W.A.M. stands for "We Are the Music Makers.' Marty Ray Project's "Haunted" was the 2020 W.A.M. Award Winner for Best Song in the Rock / Indie Rock / Alternative music category.
In “Haunted” Marty Ray and the crew deliver on a rock and blues song that remains a blast to listen to throughout. The band absolutely nails the vibe. The kick drum is refreshingly massive, it throws around its power with impunity throughout. With the kind of low end you might be expecting from a hip hop feature it does a good job reinforcing the song. The bass is simple but performs it's task of being the foundation excellently, adding riffs here and there when needed to keep the song driving. The guitars are gritty and performed very well. The lead guitar’s tone is smooth as all hell and is slightly addicting to listen to.
Ray’s vocal performance is enthralling, he uses his unique blend of raw charisma and powerful voice to craft a style that is completely his own. The energy he exudes with every word carries the song to new heights. From the radio “esque” vocal effects in the post chorus and intro to the catchy lead guitar line, this song has superb production and arrangement.
The first verse coming in from the organ dominant intro is quite calm in comparison to the rest of the song. This really allows the choruses to be exciting and extremely punchy. At this point the full the song is in full swing and exploits the gritty personality of its players to keep things riveting. The bridge allows the song to breath for a slight moment before erupting into the last chorus and guitar solo. Speaking of which, the guitar solo is simply a work of art. Remaining technically excellent while still maintaining the magnetism reminiscent of Van Halen it arrives just on time to give the song that final burst of energy.
The lyrics do a fantastic job at supporting the theme of the song and is yet another outstanding feature of Marty Ray’s work. “We’ve been haunted, We’ve been haunted, Choosing sides we were appointed, we live and die, and then we’re free again”. These are dark themes, but Ray does such a good job illustrating them in a palatable way in this piece. With a supremely unique character in Marty Ray and excellent performances from the band, “Haunted” is a standout achievement in songwriting.
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For more information, please visit Marty Ray Project's website.
About Marty Ray Project
MartyRayProject is an artist that refuses to be put in a creative box. He sings and writes songs from the heart, wether it’s rock, blues, country, or gospel. He has amassed a fan base of over a million fans and over 200 plus million views online while staying completely independent. He has had his original songs in TV and film as well as acting in TV and film himself.