The Texas threesome Ringo Deathstarr’s unwavering love for the shoegazing pioneers, along with all things distorted, is evident right from the off.
Off-kilter opener ‘Imagine Hearts’ with its twisted sonic mutations start things as Deathstarr mean to carry on, and powers into ‘Do It Every Time’, which settles into something more comfortable – a solid song with a clean riff and playful chorus.
All the genre staples are here; from the pitch bending and the reverb to the almost androgynous collision of vocals from Alex Gehring and frontman Elliot Frazier. Sadly, though, there’s little else.
The short and sweet ‘So High’, the charming little bubblegum ditty that it is, and album highlight ‘Tambourine Girl’ bring a bit more fun to the proceedings, but it’s all too clear that Deathstarr lack the pure pop skills of glossier nu gaze-contenders The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. As a result, Colour Trip’s poppier moments just stand out as the more memorable moments from a distorted soundscape that at times is just too flat.
It’s hard to criticise a band with such a golden heart and such great inspirations, but a lack of any real creativity or ambition leaves Colour Trip painfully anonymous. It is shoegaze by numbers, and with other (admittedly mostly lesser) imitators to be found round the corner of every blog, and with Kevin Shields confirming the return of the real deal is inevitable someday, it’s hard to find anything actually essential about this record.
A good enough effort then, but if you want something truly special, you’ll sadly have to look elsewhere.