Pendulum Man

I can't tell you anything at all / And that's the biggest joke of all.

Posts tagged Ringo Deathstarr

Jan 13

Tracks of 2011

…and, with this, I promise that’s the end of the lists. There won’t even be a rundown of the bands that have been permanently ruined for me by shambolic live performances in 2011. No sir. Not Pulp, Santigold, M.I.A., Asobi Seksu and Tom Vek. Nope.

In no particular order…

Apparatjik - Do It Myself (Draft 1)

So then, the new Apparatjik album is being de facto mixed and edited with everyone hearing the work in progress at every stage and being invited to contribute. To what? In part, to a fucking batshit nuts piece of chart hip hop sheen with an autotuned Jonas Bjerre drowned out by some phat rhymes. Total insanity. It’s amazing.

Violens - No Look On Your Face

The standout song from Violens’ series of nine monthly downloads, which was as bold as it was patchy. When it got good, however, it was more than a rival for 2010’s sensational Amoral. No Look On Your Face is a nugget of chart-bothering magic that neatly proves Ian Svenonius’s theory that pop music is based on a sadistic concept - offering the hook, all tantalising, then withholding it. This tune is different; the extraordinarily catchy hook doesn’t even appear until a minute and twenty seconds in, floats for two bars, and is then abruptly snatched away again, surfacing again later, non-committally. Jorge Elbrecht, take a bow. The b-side is a sultry, slow remix, every bit as good in its own strutting, mood-ridden way.

Ringo Deathstarr - Two Girls

Let it never, ever be said that the kids these days will let shoegaze die. Hardly anyone understands the aura of the tones better than this mob, gleefully ripping off Cigarette In Your Bed to the point that the result is something better than affirming; salvation in thievery. For every few instances of the dire piss take - Joy Formidable, say - there’s youth that just knows.

Lana Del Rey - Video Games

More or less the best manufactured music I’ve ever heard. This has been written by an absolute pro, with a delivery more like a weary Dietrich than a detatched talking head. It’s eerily good.

Esben And The Witch - Hexagons V (The Cast)

A band so much more inventive and intuitive than their peers it’s almost untrue, my highlight from their ridiculously prolific 2011 is not from their breathtaking Violet Cries, but from the subsequent Hexagons EP. “Blind. Blind.” Rachel shudders; it’s difficult to imagine such a tortured cry sounding so dispassionate, but then, like all the best bands, that’s part of the point. Duality, contrast and the posing of further questions, not the answers.

Epic45 - The Village Is Asleep

Just as Ringo joyously celebrate the scene that celebrated itself, Epic45 live Graham Sutton’s dream, won’t forget Bark Psychosis and won’t let them go, no matter what. I really didn’t think anyone made music like this. I’ve seldom been happier to be embarrassingly wrong.


Jan 12

Top 10 Albums of 2011 - 0, and some that didn’t make it

Here’s a self-indulgant recap of my top 10 for 2011.

10 - Talvihorros - Descent Into Delta
9 - Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip
8 - Conquering Animal Sound - Kammerspiel
7 - The Raveonettes - Raven In The Grave
6 - Epic45 - Weathering
5 - I Break Horses - Hearts
4 - Chris Tenz - Frozen Arms
3 - The Victorian English Gentlemens Club - Bag of Meat
2 - Rob St. John - Weald
1 - Esben And The Witch - Violet Cries

But, dear readers, there’s a twist in the tale…

0 - Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow

I was halfway through the lazy process of writing up my top 10 when I heard 50 Words For Snow. I knew at that point I was fucked, really.

Maybe it was for the best. I don’t want to compare this album to anything else; it’s right and proper that it sits by itself, all alone. It’s the work of a total, total fucking genius - that most tired of tired epithets. It’s so haunting, so beautiful, that I don’t even know if I prefer it to Esben’s Violet Cries, or to Rob’s Weald, or to whatever. It just exists on it’s own terms, and that’s that.

No words can describe what this record sounds like. I think that is a large part of the point of the ethereal; it is imagined, and experienced, not described.

Some That Didn’t Make It

The Horrors - Skying

Thoroughly decent third album from a band who thrive on changing their aesthetic like rain; this Nuggets-esque swirl of Krautrock and psych is compelling, but not as downright fun as Strange House and not as overpowering as their Geoff Barrow-supervised shoegazeing opus Primary Colours. It’s still fucking great, mind.

Friendly Fires - Pala

Dancing shoes = on. A worthy follow up to a brilliant first record, Pala is more concerned with layers and smooth groove rather than raggedy, Liquid Liquid funk. It’s done so well that I really don’t care.

Jeniferever - Silesia

Jeni are getting better with every record, and Silesia has the most staying power of anything they’ve cranked out yet. It doesn’t contain anything to rival From Across The Sea, but then what does? Hearths is gorgeous, the opening title track striking, with all sorts of shades of violence and chilling atmosphere in between. This album was a brave move, and a brave assimilation of influences - the only way post-rock can even hope to remain interesting. Explosions In The Sky and all the rest of you tedious old wankers, take note.

Mirrors - Lights And Offerings

Impeccable pilfered 80s electro from some of the ex-Mumm-Ra crew. The standard influences (Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk) are so obvious that it’s almost not worth pointing them out, but when there are formidably well-written pop tunes like Ways To An End, Hide And Seek and Searching In The Wilderness, who cares? Joy is precious these days. Grasp it.

Alex Turner - Submarine

Suck it And See was mainly a festering piece of turd, so it was a relief to see Al Turner’s proper songwriting surface in some form, even if his band are now above and beyond the pale. This mini-EP drafted in Bill Ryder-Jones and Owen Pallett, but primarily existed to provide a soundtrack of quiet, maudlin heartbreak for one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s remarkably affecting and despite it’s brevity, it was teetering on the edge of the top 10.

The Kills - Blood Pressures

Every time The Kills release anything, I want to love it dearly, with all of my heart. Luckily, their last attempt at weirdo grime-hop, Midnight Boom, was my favourite record of 2008 and my favourite thing ever done by one of my favourite bands. Less luckily, Blood Pressures has incredible, signature tracks, but lacks the insane invention of its predecessor, and to my impatient ears, it’s just OK. As I did with the Dead Weather’s second release last year; criticise your idols more than anyone else. Be harsh, demand more. The Kills are capable of so much better than this. It’s clearly still a great album. It’s just a step downwards, and this saddens me beyond measure.

S.C.U.M. - Again Into Eyes

S.C.U.M.’s live performances are exhibitions of wondrous, withdrawn violence and enviably brilliant shoegaze tones; I dubbed them as potentially the new Bark Psychosis earlier in the year, and I can award no higher praise. Inevitably, the resultant album never stood a chance of recreating this aloof, sullen chaos, but it is still something to be savoured nonetheless. Whitechapel remains as brilliant as ever.


Dec 28
Shoegaze 101
(From bottom to top)
Amusement Parks On Fire - Amusement Parks On FireAmusement Parks On Fire - Out Of The AngelesBark Psychosis - HexChapterhouse - WhirlpoolCocteau Twins - Head Over HeelsCocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las VegasCocteau Twins - TreasureCurve - DoppelgangerEsben & The Witch - Violet CriesGalaxie 500 - TodayJesus And Mary Chain - PsychocandyMy Bloody Valentine - Isn’t AnythingMy Bloody Valentine - You made Me Realise EPMy Bloody Valentine - LovelessThe Raveonettes - Raven In The GraveRingo Deathstarr - Colour TripSlowdive - Holding Our Breath EPSlowdive - Morningrise EPSlowdive - Just For A DaySlowdive - Souvlaki

Shoegaze 101

(From bottom to top)

Amusement Parks On Fire - Amusement Parks On Fire
Amusement Parks On Fire - Out Of The Angeles
Bark Psychosis - Hex
Chapterhouse - Whirlpool
Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels
Cocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las Vegas
Cocteau Twins - Treasure
Curve - Doppelganger
Esben & The Witch - Violet Cries
Galaxie 500 - Today
Jesus And Mary Chain - Psychocandy
My Bloody Valentine - Isn’t Anything
My Bloody Valentine - You made Me Realise EP
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
The Raveonettes - Raven In The Grave
Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip
Slowdive - Holding Our Breath EP
Slowdive - Morningrise EP
Slowdive - Just For A Day
Slowdive - Souvlaki


Dec 8

Top 10 Albums of 2011 - 9

9 - Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip

Oh come on. What the fuck am I supposed to say about Colour Trip? Ringo Deathstarr sound like My Bloody Valentine. Every beat, every note, every melody, every vocal delivery, is attributable to their idols. But when they are dreamers having quite this much fun, and who understand the textures and atmospheres of what they are apeing so thoroughly, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to look down and see it melt a little. This is fraud based on the greatest band who ever existed. I want in.

A hundred po-faced outfits trying to take original shoegazing aesthetic to a different place wish they could even imagine making an album that sounds this good. I hope they’re crying themselves to sleep at night, while the rest of us are merely agape at just how enviously brilliant the (definitely Cigarette In Your Bed-baiting and possibly Swirlies-referencing) Two Girls is, and just how such brazen pilfering can result in a tiny slice of layered, melancholic perfection in Kaleidoscope.

Stop whinging, and dance. The kids are alright, etc.

PM x

Nov 8
Ringo Deathstarr - Shadow EP
For various reasons, mainly involving incredibly badly-judged vocals by horrible “special” guests, the EP isn’t really all that. But goodness me, that is some stunning vinyl.
PM x

Ringo Deathstarr - Shadow EP

For various reasons, mainly involving incredibly badly-judged vocals by horrible “special” guests, the EP isn’t really all that. But goodness me, that is some stunning vinyl.

PM x

Jul 21
Ringo Deathstarr - Sparkler
Rather early copy of the limited edition glitter vinyl. Arrived today, now playing, sounding gloriously daft, brazenly derivative and purely fun as ever.
PM x

Ringo Deathstarr - Sparkler

Rather early copy of the limited edition glitter vinyl. Arrived today, now playing, sounding gloriously daft, brazenly derivative and purely fun as ever.

PM x

Apr 10

… and finally tonight, this has just put me in a right good mood. A home made, zero-budget, slightly-NSFW-but-not-really video for the undisputed (except by The Raveonettes’s Ignite) best track of 2011 so far. This piece of Cigarette In Your Bed-baiting nightmare pop pilfering has helped put Ringo Deathstarr in their rightful place as the most entertaining musical thieves around.

Plus, my word - Alex Gehring, annoyingly, is so, SO fucking fit.

Frisky PM x

Apr 5

Ringo Deathstarr Update, or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Steal the Shoegaze

every now and then i bumb [sic] into this headline “Colour Trip may set sail for new sonic territory, but blah blah blah”…..who the heck wrote that? they are dead wrong..we never said we were gonna do something new, we said we were gonna do something pre ‘92!”

I’m increasingly convinced that no-one else could possibly get away with this brazen, barefaced pilfering. You really have to love them in every single way, don’t you?

Two PMs x

Feb 14

Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip

A preposterous, self-serving outfit whose every move, every breath, every ounce of sinew, is employed purely to rip off My Bloody Valentine’s chord structures, aesthetic, aura, melodies? Not to mention the drumming where each beat, counter beat, messy fill, is like a cleaned-up, sterilised Colm Ó Cíosóig?

I should despise this, despite really quite liking the first self-titled EP where everything was a bit sludgier, a bit more Ringo Deathstarr’s own. But instead, supporting Dean Wareham in Glasgow on Saturday night, my self-styled purist credentials thoroughly melted under a crescendo of feedback and fun, supervised by kids who appear to be having the best time imaginable.

What nerve to suppose you can get away with any aspect of this; the name, the look - Alex Gehring LOOKS like Bilinda, for fucks sake - the identikit tunes. Tambourine Girl = You Never Should. So High = Thorn. Chloe is someone’s drunken cover of Only Shallow, surely.

But fun has won. Ringo make me feel less curmudgeonly just because they have the balls to try something like this and make it sincere. This is not a meek joke - this is a band who have, in Two Girls, a song that is fucking A to the Mazing, and the best three minutes of music thus far in 2011, stark familiarity or not.

Give yourself over to this. Let’s melt the February breeze a little.

PM x

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