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Jun 9, 2012Having a clear inspiration and pushing it to the forefront of one's music isn't a bad thing if a band is both serious and articulate. Ringo Deathstarr spends most of their time worshiping at the altar of My Bloody Valentine. They've cloned the tremolo strumming technique, lifted the beats, and buried the vocals up to the neck in the mix. While it would be patently heretical to say anyone has made a better album than Loveless, the Deathstarr has at least updated a twenty plus year old record and thrust it prominently in the vanguard of the ongoing shoegaze revival everyone is so enamored of at the moment.
Colour Trip is Ringo Deathstarr's best material to date. It's also a great record, as a record. I hate reviews that just enumerate a band's component parts, but here it's unavoidable. And while that's sometimes a red flag that something's hopelessly derivative, such an enumeration reads more like a letter of recommendation for the Deathstarr.
"Imagine Hearts" is a classic, enigmatic opening track. Distorted beats and tremolo strumming immediately shout MBV, but contain traces of other seminal 90s indie pop and shoegaze. "Imagine Hearts'" vocal stutter ("I-imagine Hearts/Imagine hearts-hearts") feels more than a little like the dangling vocal flourish in The Breeders's "Cannonball" ("The bong in this reggae song"). The baritone deadpan and fuzzy downstroke guitars on "Do It Every Time" mix up the Beat Happening and Jesus & Mary Chain. Later on, "Tambourine Girl" tosses a C86 band into the middle of a bunch of dissonant noise. "Day Dreamy" suggests what it is: swirly shoegaze reminiscent of Ride, complete with backwards guitar loops. Production values designed to trick the ear (where does fuzz and phaser end and pitch wheel synth begin?) only emphasize that Colour Trip is not merely a collection of songs, but an album.
The individual parts of Colour Trip are easy enough to identify, but the way they're assembled is way more original. It shows a fluency in the source material less developed in many of the genre's other leading acts. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - for example, do much the same thing (Ringo Deathstarr's "Kaleidoscope" could easily share a split 7" with earlier TPOBPAH) - but - as much as I love TPOBPAH - the Deathstarr does it better.
Ringo Deathstarr was the it band for 2011 for a reason. If you only get one of their records, Colour Trip should be your choice.… Expand