The second release this year, ‘Mauve’ follows two of Ringo Deathstarr’s LP’s in 2011 and
Punky and fuzzy, most of the songs are brief trips into tracks and tracks of dynamic sound overlaid with bassist Alex Gehring’s vocals. Harmonizing with Elliot Frazier with lyrics that are (thankfully) distinguishable, the Austin-based trio has learned a lot production-wise since their debut EP. Whatever critics may say about the group not being all that current with their sound, there is still a large alternative audience who are discovering that cool music doesn’t have to mean screaming, out-of-control guitar work or repetitive sounds that are supposed to pass for melodies.
The energy of feedback-infused bass and heavy percussion gets this album up and going right from the start, with the single-release Rip. Some nice screech introduces Waste, but it it’s only the accent and then the minor key vocals jump in, which is a perfect offset to some buzzy riffs. The showpiece of the album, Brightest Star, sits in the top third and slows the tempo down for nearly six minutes. It’s lovely and wistful, nourishing the soul as it winds its way through the anguish of love (You were the brightest star/You were the only one), ending with scratchy electric chords and a fade out to keyboard musings.
Some of the tracks have bits of studio sound at the end, which only adds interest. The band gets pretty good live-concert reviews, (touring most recently with The Smashing Pumpkins) and most of these tracks would lend themselves very well to extended, crowd-pleasing interludes. I’d love to see them open up for The Silverspun Pickups, another band that completely gets the 90’s shoegaze-is-dead-but-we-are-doing-it-our-way style.
Mauve is a recommended download as an album, but if you have to only pick a few songs, get Rip, Brightest Star and Do You Wanna.