Gringo Star

“Shadow” – Gringo Star

“Shadow” is like a killer find in the vintage clothing shop—comfy and familiar on the one hand, a damned good statement in the here and now on the other. As suggested by the name, this Atlanta quartet traffics in a certain amount of Beatlesque-iness, and the best kind, in my mind: a nod to the Fab Four that brings the sound further along, rather than remaining stuck in rigid homage.

So the nostalgia here suffuses the sound without actually being pinpoint-able. The scratchy guitar that rasps out the introductory line has a vaguely retrospective sound, but the specific riff doesn’t conjure any particular place or time. I like the immediate juxtaposition of the rapidly hammered guitar and the laid-back tempo, which takes the classic rock’n’roll backbeat (emphasis on the second and fourth beats of the measure) and offers it up in half-time. The occasional background nuttiness is partially psychedelic, partially just nutty. And the chorus is plain wonderful—a heart-warming descending melody, covering six full whole steps, that resolves through a chord progression so sturdy and steady that your ear barely registers some of the shifts, although it will thoroughly enjoy the glide through the relative minor around 0:53.

Gringo Star is made up of brothers Peter and Nick Furgiuele, along with Pete DeLorenzo and Chris Kaufmann. All four can play guitar and sing, both Petes can drum, and all but Pete F. will play bass. “With the swapping around of the lineup, we end up being actually 10 different bands,” Nick has been quoted as saying. A pretty cool concept, it seems to me.”Shadow” is the lead track on the band’s second album Count Yer Lucky Stars, which is due out in October on Gigantic Records. The album was produced by Ben Allen, who has worked with Gnarls Barkley and Animal Collective, among others. MP3 via Magnet Magazine.

  1. Dave on Thursday September 1, 2011

    The vocals sound a bit like a sober, sane Syd Barrett (hard to grasp I know) and the mellotron-sounding keyboard at the end encourages this.