Ringo Deathstarr (4 stars)

Ringo Deathstarr

Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Thu Dec 3 2009

As cultural exchanges go, Austin, Texas’ SXSW festival has mopped up a swathe of British indie without giving much back in return. Take a deep breath and prepare to swoon awhile, then, to singer/guitarist Elliot Frazier’s Beaumont-sired quartet, who bridge the gap where C86 fuzzbox bubblegum morphed into mind-melding dream-pop crescendos.

Frazer provides the FX-box swirl and Renan McFarland the textures on tellingly named mini-epics like ‘Tambourine Girl,’ while bassist Alex Gerhring puts her guitar down to coo choir-girl vocals on the Lush-like ‘Summertime.’ Close your eyes, think of The Shop Assistants, The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, and it could be 1989 again.

Towards the end of ‘You Don’t Listen,’ Frazer pushes his Jim/William Reid fantasies to the max as he leaps off the tiny stage, then trips his way back to hack out the feedback zone with his guitar. There’s no sonic cathedrals yet, but Ringo Deathstarr are building closer to Heaven or Las Vegas by the minute. And, no, despite the band-name, drummer Daniel Coburn was fab.

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