Originally published online at BLUNT Magazine.
4 / 5
The biggest pitfall a shoegaze band can fall into is just making noise for the sake of noise, and becoming too concerned with how big their wall of sound is without putting any substance into its foundation, like a house with no cement. Ringo Deathstarr thankfully bring plenty of variation on Pure Mood.
They’re a band who revel in juxtaposition – like any good shoegaze/dream pop act should – managing to be both sides of a coin at the same time. They’re sweet but dark, heavy but light, mellow but intense. On “Guilt” and “Big Bopper”, their guitars swarm like angry bees fed through an army of guitar pedals, but their intensity is offset by Alex Gehring’s ethereal, honey-coated vocals.
“Heavy Metal Suicide”, which sounds like Siamese Dreams-era Smashing Pumpkins, is the heaviest track on the album whose intense layers of reverb and distortion will leave your ears ringing in the best way possible. “Stare At The Sun” and “Acid Tongue” further spotlight the band’s more aggressive side, but again, there’s a softness to them.
Everyone loses their shit over the news that bands like Slowdive and Ride have reunited. And while that’s undoubtedly great news, does it really matter when you have bands like Ringo Deathstarr more than filling the void left by those bands and turning out killer album after killer album?