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Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve (Club AC30)

25 September 2012

Austin’s Ringo Deathstarr has a penchant for wearing their influences on their collective sleeves, waving them about with pride. The band is almost exactly the abandoned love child of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain. That’s not selling them short. Frankly, it’s awesome. In the decade plus since shoegaze’s two most archetypal acts had gone kaput, this quartet got tired of waiting for their return. As it would happen, those bands are starting to come back now. One can’t help but wonder if it isn’t to remind the world that this genre was something they started, a genre now taken to its greatest heights in twenty years by the likes of Ringo Deathstarr and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. While we all anxiously await any output from those progenitors, the new kids on the block are making some exciting music.

Following up on their brilliant debut full-length, Colour Trip, Ringo Deathstarr returns with Mauve. This new record is a more aggressive effort. It seems to be the mission statement with song titles like “Rip” and “Burn”. “Burn” certainly does, as well as slash. It threatens to leave the listener to waste and the album is only getting started. The first three tracks feature the co-mingling vocals of guitarist Elliott Frazier and bassist Alex Gehring. “Slack”, the first track not to feature Gehring on the album, sounds as though ripped from MBV’s Isn’t Anything album, itself a record performed at a more aggressive pace than that of their universally acknowledged classic, Loveless. The first crack in the armor comes right after with “Brightest Star” and continued with “Drag”, the first Gehring solo vocal.

The noise and pop balance is struck wonderfully on “Fifteen” with Gehring cooing behind Frazier’s crooning. The listener long being left to waste, it’s only fitting that the most stellar track be called “Waste”, in as appropriate an oxymoron as it is. The track begins a fantastic closing stretch to an already impressive record. “Do You Wanna?” is destined to whip crowds into a frenzy while yelling “MF’er!”. “Wave” is a bit more on the nose as it closes the album and lets the whole listening experience wash over along with the same phrase repeated over and over. It’s not monotonous, just a chance to finally catch your breath.