Album Review – Ringo Deathstarr


Ringo Deathstarr -‘Colour Trip’ (Club AC30)

Ringo Deathstarr first appeared four years ago. Hitting the ground running with a song entitled ‘Some Kind Of Sad,’ which out Mary Chained the Jesus and Mary Chain, they released a self-titled five track EP and left the world wondering what would happen next. Now after a couple of singles, here comes their debut album, that the feeling is one of vindication: that these guys who promised so much right from their first encounter have truly delivered with their debut album.

There’s a lot of shoegazing going on here, with nods to My Bloody Valentine, Lush and Ride, as well as to more grungier icons like Dinosaur Jr. The song titled are classic shoegazing, too -‘Kaleidoscope’ ‘Day dreaming and recent single ‘So High.’ So is it simplu a pastiche of classic albums like Bug, Loveless and Nowhere? No. It feels absolutely fresh, exciting and utterly vital. the male/female vocals play off each other brilliantly.I’ve played this album several times already and don’t see any reason to stop. Most impressively, there is not a weak track here; each track stands on its own as well as making up a very cohesive whole.

For an album by anyone, it would be good. For a debut album, it’s mightily impressive. Ringo Deathstarr have lived up to the promise of that debut EP and produced one of the albums of the year.


Colour Trip is out now on Club AC30 in the UK and on March 8 on Sonic Unyon in the US.

Ringo Deathstarr -‘Imagine Hearts.’ mp3

Ringo Death Starr: the build-up continues…


Having supported Ringo Death Starr on these pages since 2007, it’s great to be able to reveal the tracklisting of their debut album, Colour Trip, out on February:

1. Imagine Hearts

2. Do It Every Time

3. So High

4. Two Girls

5. Kaleidoscope

6. Day Dreamy

7. Tambourine Girl

8. Chloe

9. Never Drive

10. You Don’t Listen

11. Other Things

This is the video for the forthcoming single ‘So High’ which will preceede the album’s release on January 31:

Before Christmas, the band will be playing the UK, supporting the Wedding Present, including at both Edinburgh and Aberdeen…

The return of Ringo Deathstarr!


Not that I’m one to crow (ahem) but it’s nice to see when bands I have championed get a bigger audience.

Back in 2007, I frothed muchly about the genius of Ringo Deathstarr, interviewing them, giving the thumbs up to their debut EP and generally getting very excited about them.

Well, they are still going very strong in 2010 and despite the departure of guitarist Reland McFarland, the core trio of Elliott Frazier (guitars & vocals), Alex Gehring (bass & vocals), and Daniel Coborn (drums) are going to be causing a stir in 2011.

Their debut LP Colour Trip will be released in 2011, with a single ‘So High’ preceeding it. They are playing in the UK in November and December, including as support to The Wedding Present, at Edinburgh and Aberdeen, amongst other places.

This is the first taster for now – I’ve always had high hopes for this band and I can’t wait to see what’s next…

Ringo Deathstarr -‘Imagine Hearts.’ mp3

Imagine Hearts

RINGO DEATHSTARR | Myspace Music Videos

Interview: Ringo Death Starr

I have raved about Ringo Deathstarr on this site many times, so it seemed about time to publish an interview with them. They comprise: Elliott Frazier on guitar and voice, dustin gaudet on drums, alex gehring – bass/voice and renan mcfarland on guitar. Here Elliott tells 17 Seconds about how it all came together, how come they’ve not yet played outside of Texas and whether we’ll ever get to see them in Scotland…

How did you guys come together?
Ringo deathstarr began 2.5 years ago, founded by me, elliott. after many shows and many line-up changes, we finally ended up with the current formation, which feels like what this band should have been all along. some of the original members moved away, others were too busy with other bands, others had other problems, but i never gave up, since i wrote all the songs. Stephen Hablinski was the longest running ember, he was the other guitar player, and he wrote all the melodic parts on the e.p. he was just too busy to commit the time we needed…so, after the e.p. was recorded, we parted ways. i knew dustin from our home town of beaumont texas, and i sort of knew alex from this store she worked at, FACTORY PEOPLE…and renan is one of her good friends…..

You list your influences as being super-reverb. Are you honestly going to say that there’s no Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine influence there?!
well, thats up to the listener! it is true, though…but also, there are other bands like starflyer 59 and morellas forest that were big influences, before i heard JAMC or MBV…in beaumont, nobody that i knew liked any of that kind of music…when i was 18, my older friend julie had JAMC’s “darklands” and had all the smiths and morrissey stuff, and thats also when i got into the Dandy Warhols….but beaumont was a town without good record shops, and wal-mart and best buy were the only places to get music. it was like a black hole.

Who do you see as your contemporaries?
manhattan love suicides, ume, shields, anything after….we all seem to be doing something similar

You’re currently about to play with the Dandy Warhols. How did that come about?
They heard about us from The Black Angels, and asked us to play…

Have you played outside of Texas yet?!
nope, we dont really have a way to get around, we are in the middle of texas, so far from any state border…we dont have a van, so we have to take 2 cars. we are too poor to rent a van just to go on a gig….if clubs actually paid real money then we could do it, but paying $40 for an 8 hour round trip aint gonan cut it, dude…but we are looking at our options to get to NYC and back…

Your EP ‘Ringo Deathstarr’ has come out on a British label, Spoilt Victorian Child. How did you get involved with SVC?
Simon, who runs that label, contacted me, and said he wanted to release it..he gave me a pretty good offer, so here we are…he has worked hard, and it is paying off i think..

How do you write your songs?
just by accident most of the time. usually i have an idea for a song, but it takes a long time to come together. luckily, with the current line-up, everyone else has good ideas. with all the line-up changes, i was the only songwriter, and stephen would add his guitar at the last minute before we recorded it. now, alex comes up with vocal parts, bass parts, renan plays some spaced out bliss, and dustin has drum ideas. we are working on songs for our next e.p. now…but we are taking our time.

Describe your live show for the benefit of anyone who’s never seen you.
we try not to just stand there and gaze at our shoes. we like to have a good time. we like to be LOUD, and crazy sometimes. dustin sells p.a. and lighting equipment, so he got this foot switch for strobe lights and stuff, which alex controls.

What plans have got you got for the rest of 2007 and 2008? Can we expect more releases soon?
WORLD DOMINATION. we will have another release as soon as we get it together…i have already designed the artwork for it.

List your favourite 10 albums.

elliott–starflyer 59 – silver
ride – smile
zz top – eliminator
dustin –broken social scene – self titled
chromeo-fancy footwork
flaming lips – soft bulletin
brian jonestown massacre – their satanic majesty’s
second request
Alex – pixies – doolitle
-blonde redhead – melody of certain damaged lemons
-kings of convenience – right on an empty street

plus a bonus one —broadcast – ha ha sound

What is your favourite piece of art?
elliott – goustave courbet’s “L’Origine du monde”
dustin-everything by basquiat
marin – red sun
alex – the art of Banksy

Do any of you still have day jobs?
yes, i teach music lessons to kids, dustin works at a music store in the p.a. system/lighting department, alex works at a local boutique, and renan is a full time student.

Do you think the word ‘indie’ still means anything in 2007?
yeah, but not as a description of a SOUND. i think the DIY ethic and all that is easier now more than ever, with all the technology…i think independent artists will continue to gain all the power over A&R people.

What would be your dream gig for Ringo Deathstarr to play?
one where people are there to see us.

Finally, when are you coming to Scotland?
when some magical entinty supplies us with 4 plane tickets. i have been to glasgow before, when i played drums in IV Thieves…played at barflys, twas great fun. we will try really hard to get over there….

We’ll hold them to it. Anyone want to help organise a whip round?

Ringo Death Starr’s debut EP is now available through their MySpace site here.

Two samples for you: from the EP

Ringo Death Starr -‘Swirly.’ mp3

And an early version of the track ‘Some Kind Of Sad’ which caused 17 Seconds to get extremely excited a few months ago:

Ringo Death Starr -‘Some Kind Of Sad (early version).’ mp3

Review: Ringo Death Starr

Back in about February, I wrote about Ringo Death Starr:

“It’s such a joy to listen to. It will annoy the hell out of some people, divide friends, cause frictions between couples. And quite possibly split ageing indie kids down the middle in the ‘OK who’s side are you on? ‘cos you’re now working for a living, stopped being veggie, and have a CD player in your car, you bloody sellout!’ kinda way. That’s what music should do. ”

And that was on the basis of one track alone. Now, on Spoilt Victorian Child records they deliver a cracker of a five track single (or is it a mini-album by that stage?) Anyway, this takes the beautiful noise of prime period Sonic Youth and early Jesus and Mary Chain and marries it to the sounds of My Bloody Valentine and early Ride, and creates something wonderfully new in the process. Maybe the new version of ‘Some Kind Of Sad’ might not cheer your ears off as much as the original one did, but this is the sort of thing that we need. All five wonderful tracks to be played at maximum volume. (Hell, if you’re worried about what the neighbours think, you’ve got suburban. And that’s not a good thing.)

And if the thought of hearing these five amazing, life-affirming tunes wasn’t enough, you can buy it for a paltry £2 (that’s $4, no idea what it is in other currencies) from here

Ringo Death Starr -‘Swirly.’ mp3

Ringo Death Starr-‘Some Kind Of Sad.’ mp3

On you go!

Ringo…what the …?

The other day, whilst nosing around a few of the links I have posted at the right hand side of this blog, I paid a visit to Spoilt Victorian Child. One of the tracks that they had posted (and they had a sign on the record shop bit saying ‘please free to download and share) was by a band called Ringo Deathstarr. And it was called ‘Some Kind Of Sad.’
Bloody Hell. (Swearing isn’t always a sign of a limited vocabulary, sometimes it’s a sign of complete and utter disbelief).
OK, so I could compare it to Psychocandy-era Jesus and Mary Chain, but the sheer what the heck is perhaps more akin to the shock, wonder, disbelief and goddamn awe of hearing the Mary Chain’s ‘Upside Down’ single (which is so gloriously raw it makes that album seem almost produced).
But that might still be looking for too obvious comparisons. It’s so noisy it’s maybe even more comparable to hearing ‘Stabbed In The Face’ by Wolf Eyes (a track so scary that it kinda makes Suicide’s ‘Frankie Teardrop’ sound like Aqua’s ‘Barbie Doll’).
It’s such a joy to listen to. It will annoy the hell out of some people, divide friends, cause frictions between couples. And quite possibly split ageing indie kids down the middle in the ‘OK who’s side are you on? ‘cos you’re now working for a living, stopped being veggie, and have a CD player in your car, you bloody sellout!’ kinda way.
That’s what music should do.
As far as I can tell, they don’t have a record out as yet. But they’re working on it.
In the meantime, download this track, and go and say hi to them at MySpace, where they have two other tracks ‘Sweet Girl’ -which adds My Bloody Valentine circa ‘Isn’t Anything’ into the mix and ‘In Love’ which sorta reminds me of Joy Zipper jamming with Curve.
In the meantime, if you are completely confused by the bands who I’ve been comparing them to – and I mean all this as a compliment – then go to a record store or an online store and check them out.