While it may technically be 2016, Gringo Star make it feel like a Jack and Coke-soaked summer afternoon in 1963. On their most recent release The Sides and In Between, the Atlanta band of brothers drench their brand of rock in heavy reverb, escorted by quick taps on the hi-hat. There is no denying their effervescent surf-rock sometimes sounding like Julian Casablancas joined forces with Buddy Holly. Which is certainly not to say they don’t encompass their own profound, unique sound because truly they do. But really, Gringo Star’s dedication to the old-school sound is both parts welcome and admirable.
On up-beat '60s feel, pop rock songs like "Heading South", it is easy to find yourself smiling and tapping along. While on tracks such as "It’s You" and "Rotten" it’s not difficult to imagine this album as the soundtrack to accompany a Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace dance party. "Knee Deep" is one of their more impressive tracks, slightly veering from their aesthetic with darker instrumental notes.
This is the kind of record that knows what it is and doesn’t attempt masquerading in vain attempts at anything else. Lyrically, The Sides and in Between isn’t challenging, which is something that adds to the already old-school flavour. Hooks, harmonies, catchy-as-hell rises and falls, carefully balancing the level of sweetness Gringo Star have cultivated a sound that is them, a sound that has found a space in modern indie rock.
The Sides and in Between Track Listing:
03. Get Closer
04. Still Alive
05. Going Home
06. Knee Deep
07. Heading South
09. It's You
10. The Last Trace