Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Top 12 of 2011: #1 - Ringo Deathstarr

In years past, I've tended to fret and stress and just about hyperventilate about the whole "so many records to catch up on, so little time" situation that is the creation of those end of year/best of lists. In order to alleviate some of the fretting (and the frown lines!), I've decided it was time to streamline the whole process and make it something beautifully simple. I chose a dozen records that I've really loved this past year, and ranked them. The rankings, friends, come courtesy of the ole iPod. It's practically scientific, y'all! What the iPod says goes. At least, this time anyway.

Why I Decree It To Be So: "Whenever something is written about Ringo Deathstarr, odds are pretty good it'll have something in there about My Bloody Valentine (but hey, Loveless is one of my favorite records of ever, too) and/or The Jesus & Mary Chain. Not for nothing, as Ringo Deathstarr most certainly learned much from the Shields school of guitar fuzzery and the Reid school of vocals, respectively. But whatever elements of those two bands they've adapted to their sound, the Texas trio uses beautifully and on their own terms. Witness, friends, album opener "Imagine Hearts," a song I haven't hardly been able to stop listening to for days on end. Sure, there's distortion aplenty and bassist/siren Alex Gehring's honeyed hush of a whisper on vocal duty. But there's also one heck of a sultry little beat, bringing a little shimmy to the shoegaze. The fearsome decibel levels of "Chloe" make it another of my most favorite songs from Colour Trip, Frazier and Gehring hypnotically "ooooh"-ing against the big bad buzzsaw of Frazier's axe. Immediately following "Chloe" is another favorite, "Never Drive," the fuzz reaching epic levels and the vocals in full Reid-ian threatening yet come hitherness. "You Don't Listen" is the Ringo Deathstarr "Never Understand," all jaunty jangle under layer upon layer of delicious distortion. There's a sort of timelessness to Colour Trip, making it on-point both with the records that inspired it and the records it will undoubtedly inspire. Stoned, quite possibly, but this band probably won't find themselves dethroned anytime soon." (more here)

mp3: Imagine Hearts (Ringo Deathstarr from Colour Trip)

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