Elliott Frazier (guitars & vocals), Alex Gehring (bass & vocals), Daniel Coborn (drums)
The baked terra firma of Austin, Texas tends to be a land of Americana cheerleaders, oversize belt buckles, ranches and steaks the size of a house. It is also however the home turf of Ringo Deathstarr, a band with a name like a slash fiction story about The Beatles and Darth Vader and boasting a sound that is giving a brilliant contemporary twist on the very best of what those committed souls who would gaze lovingly at their shoes produced way back when.
Like a lot of groups the early stages were ones of flux, Cut to AD 2007, and tired of playing drums in bands that led to a directionless void, Elliott Frazier picked up his guitar and took on other hardy, ambitious souls in Alex Gehring on bass, Daniel Coborn on drums and Renan McFarland on guitar, and went about channelling diverse influences such as MBV, Fugazi, The Cure, The Smiths and The Velvet Underground into a uniquely sonic fingerprint of their own.
The result was an eponymous EP and an embracing of the classic American frontiersman spirit, hitting both coasts and anything in between on a long, winding road of a tour, playing with outfits such as The Dandy Warhols, A Place to Bury Strangers, Secret Machines, Swervedriver, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and The Wedding Present. Fans attached themselves to the band like barnacles, featuring a diverse mix from the melancholic Auburn Lull fans to the more hyperactive, questionably-pierced punk aficionados - a wide appeal for a jagged and winding sound that gets its burrs under goose bumped skin within seconds of it hitting your ears.
Further singles were released on both sides of the pond and the tour went international in 2009, touching the rainy streets of the UK and the neon-drenched byways of Japan on its way. With a full-length LP finally banged down and ready to go, despite reverting to a trio after the departure of McFarland, Ringo Deathstarr's sound is there in full expression, from the bending, twisting atmospherics of their more shoegazey tracks to the lightly shimmering dream pop numbers. This spectrum of styles, drenched in feedback and honey-sweet with melody, which would jolt in another band, are deftly slotted together here to form a melodic, deep and spectral whole, a sound that can bend your head and grasp your soul in the same instant. Imagine Ride, imagine The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, imagine Jesus & The Mary Chain and you're very much on the right track and then add a huge SHOT of fresh contemporary juice... there yet? Almost.
With a nigh-on hagiographic write-up from the famously high-minded Pitchfork in their pocket and/or under their belt and this INCREDIBLE debut record ready to go, the force is very much with Ringo Deathstarr. You heard it here first.