Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Sonic Unyon
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Noise Pop, Shoegaze
Ringo Deathstarr's debut album Colour Trip was modern-day shoegaze classic of sorts; faithfully reanimating the sound of the late-'80s and early-'90s pioneers, while giving the noises-meets-melody template a blast of excitement and energy. The songs were also super catchy and as compelling as anything that came out of the first wave. The only problem was that Ringo Deathstarr was about 20 years late to the party.
On the surface, a band like Ringo Deathstarr almost seems like they’re going out of their way to not be taken seriously. For one thing, they named their band “Ringo Deathstarr.” For another, the group displays their shoegaze/noise pop influences so blatantly that it’s surprising nobody’s filed a lawsuit yet. It feels a bit futile these days to slam a band for sounding like My Bloody Valentine or The Jesus And Mary Chain (as nearly every shoegaze band has faced that comparison), but Ringo Deathstarr really make it tough to ignore: The guitars are as warped and abrasive as possible, and singers Elliott Frazier and Alex Gehring do an uncanny impression of Jim Reid and Bilinda Butcher (respectively).
Mention the name Ringo Deathstarr and it's fair to say the words 'My', 'Bloody' and 'Valentine' won't be far behind. When early singles compilation Sparkler first appeared three years ago such comparisons were rife, and last year's first full long player, Colour Trip, only served to inflame such accusations that maybe the Austin trio wore their influences a little too closely to their chests. Unfair perhaps, given that in 2012 there's very little which passes for being wholly original.
Mauve — one of those in-between hues — is a particular word to describe a pale meld of bluish and purple (the album art to the right aptly nails it). It’s a rare treat to be able to accurately describe an object you see as “mauve”, yet it’s entirely fitting for Ringo Deathstarr, the Austin-based trio with an affinity for building intricate walls of sound in the vein of late ‘80s-early ‘90s shoegazers Slowdive and Ride. Mauve, the follow-up to 2011’s Colour Trip, paints a visceral portrait as hazy as the dreamy color itself.
One of the alternate names given to the shoegazing scene of the late eighties/early nineties - I guess by people who weren’t eloquent enough to come up with something as simple yet perfect as ‘shoegaze’ - was ‘The Scene That Celebrates Itself’, an umbrella under which everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Ride to Sweredriver found themselves. Here’s hoping that Ringo Deathstarr celebrate themselves, ‘cos Lord knows nobody else should. That is, nobody else who’s ever heard ‘Loveless’, or anything Lush ever recorded, or even an Asobi Seksu album, come to think of it.