Ringo Deathstarr - Mauve

Here’s hoping that Ringo Deathstarr celebrate themselves, ‘cos Lord knows nobody else should.


One of the alternate names given to the shoegazing scene of the late eighties/early nineties - I guess by people who weren’t eloquent enough to come up with something as simple yet perfect as ‘shoegaze’ - was ‘The Scene That Celebrates Itself’, an umbrella under which everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Ride to Sweredriver found themselves.

Here’s hoping that Ringo Deathstarr celebrate themselves, ‘cos Lord knows nobody else should. That is, nobody else who’s ever heard ‘Loveless’, or anything Lush ever recorded, or even an Asobi Seksu album, come to think of it. ‘Mauve’, as with the Texas three-piece’s previous releases, is so in thrall to the influence of Kevin Shields and the like that they forget to do actually do anything with it, except recreate it best they can. Like a kid redrawing their favourite Dennis the Menace stories, from memory, with crayons.

Of course, if you like ‘Loveless’, or early Jesus and Mary Chain, it is an effective facsimile being peddled here. The guitars are warm, slightly suffocating blankets of over cranked noise, with a drone-like melody cropping up a times, if you’re lucky. Bassist Alex Gehring’s vocals are almost as ethereal and smooth and White Goddess-like as Bilinda Butcher and, thankfully, she takes centre stage most of the time, since guitarist Elliot Frazier just tends to shout, adding more shade to the existing cacophony than the required light. Drummer Daniel Coborn does get to do something a little different, his frantic playing style adding a much-needed pulse to the cavernous soundscapes.

‘Mauve’ isn’t a bad album. It’s competently made, it’s mixed pretty well. It’s done well. But it’s been done before, and better. I guess they’re counting on the hypnotic volume of their music to entice people in; really, we could all do with waking up from dream pop.

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