(Sonic Unyon Records)
Austin-based rock band Ringo Deathstarr emanates aural awesomeness with their first full-length album Colour Trip. A discourse on sound, the album explores various musical combinations by smartly interchanging and overlapping the male and female vocals to complement the corresponding instrumental idea and seeking to stretch the widely accepted notion (generally speaking) of what an indie rock band should sound like. With malleable melodies laid atop of powerful, although not overly severe, instruments, this album does not stagnate, regularly progressing from one purposefully hazy melodic thought to the next. Ringo Deathstarr inverts the natural order of things in the musical world with an album that is guitar-focused, with the vocals somewhat unexpectedly less present, acting as more of a dreamy, atmospheric accompaniment.
Although reminiscent of late 80’s and early 90’s rock, this album proposes an engaging and updated sound – a musical brainstorm – unabashedly presenting an intriguing formula of heavy, raw instrumentation with lighter, airier vocals. Lead singer and guitarist Elliot Frazier’s bass-like growl of a voice, equally as stirring in the low ranges as it is in the high, combined with bassist Alex Gehring’s breathy and pensive voice, makes for a rock album that fuses legitimate instrumental chops with beautifully blurred vocal lines.
Psychedelic, alluring, reflective and just flat-out rocking, Ringo Deathstarr, offering upbeat, rhythm-driven tracks such as “Tambourine Girl” and “So High,” mixed in with more dramatic and drawn out tracks such as “Chloe” and “Other Things,” defies a specific genre (which is difficult to do in our categorically-crazed society); no longer do descriptions such as “heavy distortion” and “dream-like vocals” have to be mutually exclusive.
Colour Trip promises a diversity and range that works to retrain your ears (for all those indie alternative rock newbies) and your preconceived notions of what a rock band can create.