Ringo Deathstarr @ The Compass, Chester 14.11.15

US psych rock trio bring stunning new LP Pure Mood to the North West

Nov 20th, 2015 at The Compass, Chester / By Richard Lewis
Ringo Deathstarr @ The Compass, Chester 14.11.15 As a winter storm rattles the windows of the Tudor revival buildings that line City Road that leads out from Chester Train Station, Texan psych-rock progenitors Ringo Deathstarr arrive for their first gig in the conurbation.

Their first visit to this corner of the North West since a 2011 show at Liverpool Music Week, the trio come tooled up with superlative new LP Pure Mood. Proof of how (justifiably) confident the three-piece are in the new disc, the Lone Star State essay almost all of the entire album to the sardines capacity upstairs live room at The Compass.

Benefitting from an on-point, vociferously loud sound mix, the scabrous guitar motifs and sweet pop melodies tumble from the PA sounding near unstoppable. A swirling concoction of rippling textures and bludgeoning basslines, the trio sound vastly bigger than their constituent members, the brief tuning up interludes soundtracked by ambient washes of noise.

Pushing the vocals of guitarist Elliot Frazier and bassist Alex Gehring up in the mix guides the songs in unequivocal fashion while drummer Daniel Coborn's estimable beats hold the entire thing together brilliantly. Sounding suspiciously like one of the best tracks of the year, giddy waltz-time gem Guilt, pulled from the LP as a single supplies the set's highlight, while the XL-proportioned alt. rock riffs of Heavy Metal Suicide and Frisbee possess the sonic impact as their studio bound versions.

The Big Bopper, paying homage to the rock n' roll pioneer J.P. Richardson, who lived in lead singer Elliott Frazier's hometown of Beaumont, Texas, is a wry pop culture compendium, the 'Waiting for Husker Du to get back together and play some tunes' lyric possibly an accurate prediction if recent rumours are to be believed.

After a near non-stop 45 minutes proceedings draw to a close, the only minor complaint being that more of the LP including power pop bijoux Acid Tongue isn't aired. So, is it Shoegaze? 21st Century psych rock? Noise pop? The genre tags matter little, file it under one of this year's best shows with the accompanying album to boot.