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ringo deathstarr-pure mood

Shoegaze faves Ringo Deathstarr return with their latest full length ‘Pure Mood’ (available through Club AC30 [UK] or Norman Records [UK], The Reverberation Appreciation Society [USA], and Vinyl Junkie [Japan]). The Texan trio always provide a rush of energy, melody and noise. The first public songs ‘Big Bopper’, ‘Guilt’ and ‘Stare At The Sun’ are worth the price of admission alone. In lieu of a public album stream, there’s also a non-album track to sink your teeth into; a cover of T’Pnau’s ‘Heart And Soul’. So, is ‘Pure Mood’ another must listen? Let’s dig in…

There’s plenty of “rock god” moments on this album, there’s more riff-centric guitar work (‘Heavy Metal Suicide’ for example), than we’ve heard from them before. Plus there’s several cutting guitar solos that are super entertaining (‘Frisbee’), these work a treat to break up the chaos. Production wise there’s multi-layered everything, a crushing wall of rock goodness! The vocals sit high in the mix, so there’s no straining to make them out. However there’s so many compressed layers it has a similar, obscuring effect. That said, the shoegaze label isn’t very accurate here. There’s not a whole lot of reverb, swooning or wallowing going on! Instead, we’ve got a full frontal noise pop explosion. ‘Never’ for instance, is an absolute punk rock pummelling!

On the critical side, some of the album cuts lack the songwriting sharpness we’ve come to expect. The aforementioned singles have a depth and impact that’s not evenly spread. The party really kicks off at track five (‘Big Bopper’) and then there’s no looking back. Despite this, the creative trajectory that ‘God’s Dream’ started continues with ‘Pure Mood’, only this time we’re hearing some other strengths. We’re hearing legit musicianship, some serious technical chops! I’m not suggesting this wasn’t always the case, but on this album we can really hear it. Touring has been kind, it’s turned Ringo Deathstarr into serious shredders! \m/ Just listening to those bass lines makes my hands hurt.

‘Frisbee’ and ‘Never’ are faves, but the closing song ‘Acid Tongue’ is my favorite. It’s a devastating rocker, ‘Acid Tongue’ slays! Thing is, for much of ‘Pure Mood’ we’re in awe of Alex’s sugary vocal melodies but on the closer, it’s Elliott’s time to shine. He takes over the lead vocal duties, sets his guitar to “seek and destroy”, and opts for a metaphorical headbutt to finish it off. “Thanks for coming… now cop this!” The song sums up what ‘Pure Mood’ is all about, dense rockers that don’t mess about. It’s not a “perfect” album, there’s peaks and valleys (so to speak), but there’s few bands this fun. Meanwhile, there’s a freighter carrying my vinyl copy across the Atlantic and I wish it would get a move on!

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Ringo Deathstarr - 'Pure Mood'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • Explosive noise pop!
  • 'Guilt' and 'Acid Tongue' are brilliant
  • Lots of fun
CON'S
  • Less cohesive than previous efforts
  • Opening lacks punch
3.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (21 Votes)

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