The latest release from Ringo Deathstarr has come five years in the making from their previous LP Pure Mood. Being a self-titled album, this 13-track finds the band distilling the essence of their shoegaze sound while putting in their unique spark. The result is a record shifting between two distinct sound aesthetics, one that is airy and cavernous with heavy reverb, while the other is the harsher grainy haze that’s the staple of the genre. While stretched into polar opposites as they are, the bouncing off of these two ideas make this record such an enjoyable listen from start to end. In some way this feels like Ringo Deathstarr has compiled their greatest hits from all of those in-between years to come out with this thrilling dream ride.
“God Help the One’s You Love” is definitely my favorite amongst their cooler sounding chamber-like tunes. The contrast of angelic voices and electrifying riffs makes this such a hypnotizing listen. Similarly, the cold and dreamy “Disease” elicits goosebumps from its haunting melodies to the sweet and subtle guitars echoing from the horizon. “Heaven Obscured” on the other hand, is just a bed of sound I wouldn’t mind playing in my sleep for hours on repeat.
On the other side of the spectrum, “Gazin” has that quick pulsing feeling from the best shoegaze bands out there, With the line “I’m just gazin’” providing an instant lull of relaxation. The haunting noise profile in “Just Like You” fits perfectly for a rave, while the grinding metallic turbines and swirling ambient sound of “Once Upon a Freak” can induce vertigo from the get go. These songs serve as great introductions to what the genre can offer, and shows the potential of the richness that it is capable of. “Lazy Lane” is another highlight – a tune that’s so grounded and rateable that it could be on a meditation playlist.
The band pushes their experimental chops in closer “Cotton Candy Clouds”, which feels like a carnival tune with alien textures and strings full of fluffy metal strung together to make otherworldly sounds.
Ringo Deathstarr is a great addition to the shoegaze canon. Pitching together the band’s influences while cementing themselves as up there with the best of them. The technical and creative prowess poured into this record alone makes it an easy recommendation for anyone.