I have to say that the moniker "Ringo Deathstarr" made me relate this young Austin band to "Dandy Warhols" and "Brian Jonestown Massacre," and not because of the music. Then I heard the music! I was pleasantly surprised and a little shocked to see how well these guys fit in with that pantheon of brilliant bands with clever names. (The less said about REO Speeddealer and John Cougar Concentration Camp, the better.) Setting aside the trivial matter of the band's name, I have to say that Ringo Deathstarr rocks, and they rock hard, in that Jesus & Mary Chain and Dandy Warhols kind of way. I can't say I was surprised when I learned that they opened for Dandy Warhols, either--my only regret is not being there!
Cute platitudes aside, this band approximates the music of William and Jim Reid in such an amazingly accurate way, I actually felt like I was listening to some sort of bizarre covers EP of unreleased Jesus & Mary Chain songs. From the first moments of the aptly-titled "Swirly," I knew the sonic trip would be trippy, and I wasn't disappointed. Rumskib and A Sunny Day in Glasgow helped launch a reverend shoegazing trend; their respect for the sounds of earlier times is obvious. Ringo Deathstarr simply taps into the emotional element, and in so doing, they tap into an element that's universal: love. I can't really make out most of the lyrics, but from what I can understand, their lyrical themes are about love: falling in love, falling out of love, longing to be near a loved one, and, simply, loving. "Some Kind of Sad" is about a girl whose lips "taste like honeydew," and, in a fun little reference, are "just like honey, too." "Down on You" has a lusty yet angry guitar riff, and lyrics that are probably as lusty--if you could understand 'em!
The total winner here, though, is "Sweet Girl," the most poppy number on the record, and the most coherent, too; the song's pulsing rhythms remind me of why I loved Darklands, and it's about a girl who makes the lead singer simply swoon. It's a song meant for mix-tapes for crushes. It's also a song, I hasten to state, that could be a hit. (Cliche ends here.)
Other than the fact the band comes from Austin, I know nothing about the band. I also know that this EP is...it's amazing! I hope an American label takes the time to sign this band. Oh, and also, they're the best sexy-ass shoegazing pop band to come out of Beaumont since The Cocker Spaniels!
Listen To: "Sweet Girl"
Ringo Deathstarr is out now on Spoilt Victorian Child
Labels: reviews r, Ringo Deathstarr, Spoilt Victorian Child