The pristine sounds of ’60s pop, doo-wop, and surf rock used to provide the soundtrack to a more innocent, wholesome time and place. Today, however, it’s the domain of a host of young bands hellbent on using pop history as fodder for something decidedly different and all their own.
Subversion is a pretty neat trick for those bands savvy enough to pull it off. Just ask Gringo Star, a band that (even going off of their name alone) knows a thing or two about reshaping rock history just enough to augment its own tweaked musical worldview. The Atlanta trio has two records worth of trippy pop rock behind them, and their third, Floating Out To See, keeps the nostalgic mojo going. Opening track “In The Heat” sounds like a lost deep cut from Dark Side Of The Moon, as the band loses itself in a haze of bluesy space rock. That sedate feeling doesn’t stick, though. Instead, the rest of the record sounds like a ’60s beach party on acid. The band’s music smacks with infectious go-go energy, coated with a druggy, psychedelic finish.
The band is anything but subtle in its irreverence, so much so that it borders on over the top. Between the girl group harmonies on tracks like “Find A Love”, “Going Way Out”, the washed out ’50s middle school dance vibe of “Lovesick”, and the foggy Spaghetti Western feel of “Look For More”, the band’s collective tongue couldn’t be planted more firmly in its cheek. But, there’s something infectious and clever about just how far they go in the name of irony. Floating Out To See is another playful genre romp from a band that’s fully transfixed on stretching and distorting old sounds into their own weird sonic shapes.
Essential Tracks: “Look For More”, “Going Way Out”