Ringo Deathstarr may be based in Texas in the year 2011 but they sound like they were beamed into the future from London circa 1990. No doubt wearing bowl cuts and stripey shirts. Their debut album, Colour Trip, is more of a nostalgia trip as they delve deeply into shoegaze, dream pop, noise pop, and generally seem to be auditioning for a spot on the Creation roster between My Bloody Valentine and Ride. How you feel about the album probably has a lot to do with how you feel about nostalgia, imitation, and immersing yourself so totally in the style of your influences that you sound exactly like them. If you take a more positive stance, you can commend the trio’s skill at re-creation, and marvel at how “Chloe” is a perfect MBV-meets-Medicine copy, or how “You Don’t Listen” sounds like a lost Jesus & Mary Chain single. You could lose yourself in the warmly fuzzy guitars that flood the album from beginning to end, or let the honey-sweet vocals of bassist Alex Gehring wash away your nagging doubts. She sounds especially dreamy on the slow grooving “Other Things” and the warped dance track “Imagine Hearts.” Elliot Frazier's vocals are equally fine, whether he’s growling through noise-drenched rockers like “Chloe” or crooning like a Reid on swoony songs like “Tambourine Girl.” Pastiche or not, the album is incredibly catchy and hook-filled, and shows the band equally adept at rocking out loudly or drifting noisily off into the clouds. They invest their love of noisy pop with so much love, energy, and hummable tuneage, that it’s impossible to hate on them that much. Even if you take the uncharitable approach and call them mere copycats that are sucking the past dry, you can’t argue that fact. And if you look at the big picture and place them in the context of the large number of contemporaries mining the same rich seam of noise and melody, you’ll see that they come off rather well. And….if you really take a leap, you might even admit that when putting this album up against albums by some of the originators of the sound, it’s just as good if not better. It’ll be interesting to see where the band goes from here, but for right now, Colour Trip is definitely a trip worth taking.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra