Album Review Ringo Deathstarr - Ringo Deathstarr

A derisive retread of sounds that feels well past its sell-by date.

Ringo Deathstarr - Ringo Deathstarr

Texan shoegazers Ringo Deathstarr have never championed themselves on originality, so it’s a feat in itself that they’ve navigated a 13-year career without ever straying too far from a genre that peaked in the mid-‘90s. “I’m just ‘gazin’,” drones Elliott Frazier on the third track of this, their self-titled fifth album. It doesn’t get more succinct than that.

To place credit where it’s due, the band offer commanding understanding of their niche. The helicopter-guitars of ‘Once Upon A Freak’ are the closest thing to ‘MBV’-era My Bloody Valentine you’ll find outside of Kevin Shields’ studio. And ‘Be Love’ features a baggy beat that feels like it was lifted from the closing track of ‘Loveless’. ‘I Don’t Want To Lose This’, meanwhile, is textbook Slowdive, with breathy vocals and gentle, whirring metal providing a whooshy lullaby.

The band pay an ambient ode to their dedicated Japanese fanbase with opening track ‘Nagoya’, but elsewhere it’s all a bit of a dirge. The band wear their influences so proudly on their sleeves (or should that be their shoes?) that their work sacrifices any semblance of ingenuity. The result is a derisive retread of sounds that feels well past its sell-by date.