At first listen, Gringo Star’s latest album The Sides and In Between is a cacophonous yet delightful mixture of sounds. The band themselves summed up this sound perfectly as “echo-slathered, doo-wop indebted indie gems; psychedelic garage bangers, gritty R&B shuffles and spaghetti-western weirdness.”
They are hard to put a finger on, but are without a doubt an eclectic yet captivating quartet who really shine in their fourth studio album.
Gringo Star gets things started with their single “Rotten”. It’s a twangy uptempo tune that dances on the line of blues and pop rock. The distorted vocals and lead guitar riffs bring it together, giving the track the Gringo Star sound that we have quickly grown to love. “Rotten” is followed by “Magic,” a happy go lucky tune that shifts from a straight punk rock intro into a poppy chorus with “Beach Boy’ish” vibes throughout, giving it a very retro feel.
The next track, “Get Closer”, was the first album single they released, and has already received video treatment. “Get Closer” has the potential to be the perfect indie summer soundtrack. Nick Furgiuele’s fuzzy yet lyrics work perfectly with the arrangement.
The meat of the album, “Still Alive”, “Going Home”, and “Knee Deep” are some of my favorites. Each is is extremely unique, yet they all share dramatic, psychedelic, and surfer qualities. “Knee Deep” in particular is one of the more impressive tracks on the album as they master a deeper and darker sound.
“Knee Deep”, and “Heading South” which follows, are pure blues bliss. I was immediately taken back to the days I discovered Robert Johnson riding in my Dad’s truck. This made perfect sense upon discovering the album was inspired by band leaders/brothers Nick and Peter Furgiuele’s Grandfather, a Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer for his work promoting rhythm and blues artists in the 1950’s.
The last few tracks, “Undone”, “It’s You”, and “The Last Trace” would have no problem fitting right into Buddy Holly’s catalogue. They are short and sweet, yet have this quality that transcends them. Gringo Star seems to masterfully capture every sound they decide to try their hand with.
The musical variety displayed throughout the indie/garage rock band’s album is truly impressive. From obscure arrangements, to honky foot tapping guitar, you will not grow tired of their versatile sound. Gringo Star is much more than what first meets the eye. Their influences span so many genres and decades, blending them into a one of a kind band.
The band is currently on an extensive U.S. tour support from Elliot & The Ghost, Sam Kogon, and Wet Leather. Check the dates below and catch them in a city near you.
Gringo Star Tour Dates:
08.25 – Providence, RI @ Fete Music Hall
08.28 – Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room (The Studio)
08.29 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
08.30 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
08.31 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
09.01 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme
09.02 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
09.03 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Cactus Club
09.04 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency
09.06 – Omaha, NE @ O’Leaver’s
09.07 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
09.14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
09.15 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
09.16 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
09.20 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
09.22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Rickshaw Stop
09.29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
09.30 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
10.01 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10.05 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
10.06 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
10.07 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
10.08 – Dallas, TX @ Doublewide