Review: Gringo Star – Count Yer Lucky Stars
Published on May 7th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
The Atlanta four-piece’s follow-up to 2008 debut All Y’All, also produced by Ben Allen [Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Deehunter], delights by virtue of its natural-sounding introducing of disparate styles to each other, and at times the results are excellent.
Opener and single “Shadow” is a subtly quirky piece of funky skank-pop with melty psych-pop harmonies and a blaring garage-rock production, and it’s one of the songs of the year so far. “You Want It” initially comes over all early Pixies before moulding that into a twisted Merseybeat, eventually sounding a bit like a sombre Fountains of Wayne and even with one particular breakdown deigning to add credence to this recently-tweeted assertion of Rocksucker’s.
“Got It” strikes as an early Beatles cover being dragged through a shoegaze car wash, “Beatnik Angel Georgie” spins a ’70s Americana feel out of golden, chiming guitar arpeggios, the title track is quite like a cross between Cast and The Wondermints (that’s likely a rather unhelpful explanation, so just know that it’s ace) and “Come Alive” does just that with a brief psychedelic Latin wig-out.
“Esmarelda” is dripping with swoonsome baroque elegance – imagine the song in an animated musical in which the bad guy sings about how he’s not all that bad, even though he is – while the gorgeous “Light in the Sky” sounds like an early Oasis b-side set to a country swagger, accruing splendour as it goes.
Unfortunately, Count Yer Lucky Stars runs out of steam just a tad with pretty yet unremarkable pair “Make You Mine” and “Mexican Coma”, so while this isn’t quite a great album you are left with the feeling that Gringo Star’s next one could be if they allow their more peculiar instincts a little more free rein. The stupendous “Shadow” should undoubtedly be the rough blueprint.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!