Ringo Deathstarr is a shoegaze trio from Austin, Texas. The band started in 2005 as a solo project of Elliott Frazier (guitar/vocals). After a bit of messing about with some different band members, he finally brought Alex Gehring (bass/vocals) into the mix. Apparently, Frazier met her at a really high-end clothing store. The kind of place where the really weird stuff from fashion shows is sold. The kind of place where a woman might pay $2500.00 for a summer dress, and a man might pay $1500.00 for a pair of trousers. I’m not sure what either one of them was doing in there, but the story is that they met there. She joined the band in 2007, and a year later Daniel Coborn (drums) joined. Frazier and Coborn knew each other since they were kids in their hometown of Beaumont, Texas. That’s been the lineup since 2008
The band tours a lot, but they’ve only released two albums so far. There was their 2011 debut Colour Trip and the 2012 followup Mauve. In 2013, they released a smashing EP called God’s Dream. Lots of touring, and a lot of time prepping the new album. I actually didn’t know that it was happening until I read a couple of articles yesterday about this song and the forthcoming album.
I haven’t heard the rest of the album yet, but I know that in addition to today’s song, there’s at least one more that has Alex on lead vocals. While she often provides Bilinda Butcher-esque backing vocals, I really like the ones where she gets to let her angelic voice shine. Today’s song also features Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder.
“Guilt” by Ringo Deathstarr
Alex is actually singing lead and backup vocals on this. They’ve layered vocal tracks and had her harmonize with herself. I know I’ve got Lush on the brain because of the reunion rumours, but Alex’s vocals on this song really remind me of the way Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson would sing together. The two parts aren’t precisely in unison, but it’s by design that there’s a really tiny delay between them.
Also, during that middle eight section where there’s essentially a guitar solo, Alex is doing something quite interesting with her bass.
Suffice to say, I’m really excited about the new album. It’s scheduled for release on November 20 via Sonic Unyon Records (North America), Club AC30 (UK/Europe), and Vinyl Junkie Recordings (Japan). Club AC30 has some very limited numbers of vinyl pressings. 250 each of “lemonade yellow” and “minty green”. Go here to see them, and to pre-order. I would love to have one of those, but after putting it in the shopping cart, I realized that it comes to the equivalent of $35 USD. I’ll have to pass. Even if I only end up with a digital copy, I’m very much looking forward to the release of this album.