Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve

When the opening rush has been beaten off so to speak, and things settle down, we can get to grips with what is a very good LP.

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“He’s so mauve; you don’t know which way he’s going to turn”. Loathe as I am to shoehorn Uncle Monty into a rock review, I feel duty bound to say that – on confronted with the record, I didn’t know what to think. I mean a CD in a cardboard sleeve with the band name and band title printed – in mauve – it could be anything. Is this the vibe the record company want to create?

Anyway…

I remember hearing this band being lambasted about sounding like a carbon copy of MBV. And with tracks like Burn and Slack you do hear direct, almost umbilical links to stuff like Sue Is Fine or something, but it’s good, you know it’s good music, it rocks out. And people have been taking route one for years. Go and look at what the Stones did with Bo Diddley, or Pieter Breughel the Younger did with, erm, Pieter Breughel if you seek yet further kicks in this direction.

When the opening rush has been beaten off so to speak, and things settle down, we can get to grips with what is a very good LP. There are some absolutely magnificent passages on here; Brightest Star is a great trip, the lethargic guitar squall and concomitant burn out bearing the listener ever spaceward. Better is to come with the intensely broody Drag, a sort of trippy excursion through a distorted hall of mirrors, the listener has only the voice to hang onto as everything else is just that little bit loose, that bit snaky. The excellent (and excellently named) Girls We Know and Nap Time are surely the apogees of all this slothing around, both veritable Leviathans of noisy sludge.

Somehow these lethargic moments affect the last tracks such as Waste Please Don't Kill Yourself and Do You Wanna?; ok it could be my mind playing tricks on me again but the last few tracks sound very different: stripped, much less obtuse or enslaved by a concept of a particular sound. They sound like the Sugarettes, actually. Think of that.

So, overall? A fine record that gets better the longer it pans out, and the more you listen to it.