Gringo Star put reverb on everything. Other than good tunesmithing, they do just about everything with reverb that you could possibly imagine. It’s about the only effect they use, and they use it well. The psychedelic rockers are at the Cameo Gallery on Nov 15 at around 10 PM; cover is $12. Their latest album Floating Out to See is pretty much what you would expect from them, a lo-fi, imaginative reworking of old 60s tropes and catchy tunes that blends elements of a whole bunch of rock styles from that decade. When the vocals aren’t half-buried in the mix, their sense of humor floats to the surface. While what they do isn’t really music to sing along to (although you can definitely hum along to it), it’s something to go see and get lost in.
The songs on the album are as good as they are echoey, which is a lot. 100 Miles, like a handful of tracks here, abruptly drops down to just the drums, dub style. Find a Love grafts a warped microtonal guitar menace to downstroke Libertines/Supergrass Brit-garage. Going Way Out is a lo-fi, noirish take on Phil Spector, a dreamy backbeat number with a wry Dell Shannon reference. In the Heat works swoopy slide guitar incisions into a slow sunbaked desert rock vamp. In the Sun is similar and a little faster, picking up with a deliciously anthemic, distantly Beatlesque vibe.
Looking for More draws heavily on Arthur Lee: lush Forever Changes on the verse, riff-rocking Da Capo on the chorus. Lovesick makes noir out of doo-wop pop with keening funeral organ. Peephole, a droll ripoff of the Lemon Pipers’ Green Tambourine, is for stoners who get paranoid when they hit the bathroom: it’s the funniest track here. Satisfy My Mind makes garage rock out of 60s noir Orbison, while Taller sounds like the 13th Floor Elevators covering the earlyYardbirds
The most modern track here is The Start, with its anthemic Jesus & Mary Chain/Brian Jonestown Massacre pulse. And an unexpected baritone guitar solo adds a touch of menace to the bouncy, blippy, Jacco Gardner-ish Want Some Fun. Considering how many iconic bands these guys reference without completely aping them, theyr’e connoisseurs of psychedelia. There literally isn’t a bad track on this album.