By adding elements of grunge and metal to their shoegaze sound, this Texan trio have come up with something exceptional
As with most shoegaze bands, Ringo Deathstarr are plagued by comparisons to genre pioneers My Bloody Valentine. That should all change the moment a Metallica-like riff kicks off Heavy Metal Suicide and blasts away the introspective cobwebs of opening track Dream Again. Yes there are still fuzzy guitars and a pervading sense of detachment, but Pure Mood is the sound of a band finding their own identity once and for all.
Lead vocals are shared between Elliott Frazier and Alex Gehring. Those tracks fronted by Gehring are usually warmer sounding, like the surprisingly groovy Stare At The Sun and the dynamite Guilt, whereas Frazier tends to lead Ringo Deathstarr into an altogether dirtier glam-grunge direction on songs like Never and Old Again. The intricate layers of sound and drone are still there but they’ve been augmented by something bordering, but never quite settling, on classic rock.
Closing track Acid Tongue is as catchy as it is warped, propelled along by Daniel Coborn’s unrelenting drumming. Melody and riffs fight for space with cinematic soundscapes and create a noise too huge to be contained within the confines of shoegaze. It is the ideal sound for Ringo Deathstarr and one that should reignite the creative power of the Texan trio for a long time to come.
Verdict: A refreshing reinvention