Gringo Star is an indie rock quartet with a sound reminiscent of the 50s/60s. It almost sounds like a literal echo from the 50s/60s musical era. Aesthetically and sonically, ghostly and nostalgic, in its delivery and production. Consisting of current band members, brothers Nicholas Furgiuele and Peter Furgiuele, and Jonathan Bragg and Josh Longino, the band members all have the talent of being multi-instrumentalists and the Furgiueles’ brothers credit their parents record collection as early influences, artists such as Buddy Holly, The Animals and The Kinks. While also being exposed at an early age to Gospel shows by their grandfather who was posthumously inducted into the ‘Georgia Music Hall of Fame’, it’s no wonder their music comes across as a sound from yonder.
In newest release, The Sides And In Between, the group tackles different aspects of the classic rock world. For the most there is a lot of psychedelic rock influences. Magic is a hazy plethora of distorted vocals, background harmonies and mixed array of sounds, including one in the intro that sounds like an old telephone ringing.
Gringo Star also has a stab at doo-wop and the blues in the lineup. Heading South rips you out of the 21st century and plops you right into a 1950’s diner, where poodle skirts, milkshakes, and Cadillacs are the norm. So basically the most stereotypical 50’s visual ever. The most interesting tidbit of this song is the fact that while it has such a palpable doo-wop 50s diner soundscape the first line is “You took me for a wild surprise, left me staring at my phone.” Woah what just happened here? A reference to staring at your phone, presumably a mobile/cellphone in a 1950’s doo-wop throwback? How absurd and ludicrous, it’s kind of brilliant, they didn’t even try to sneak that one in. It’s like watching Back To The Future and finding a continuity issue or factual error. You feel clever for just being that observant.
But before making your way to the diner, Knee Deep (which comes right before Heading South) has the most bluesy guitar riff you could imagine, swaggering rhythm, and lyric that refers to “waters” (obviously, the song is called Knee Deep after all) which I feel like is one of the key lyrical components or tip off lets say, to knowing you’re listening to a blues tune. Waters running deep is the like the ‘creme da la creme’ of beginners blues lyric. A few psychedelic additions are added but it generally covers your basic checklist of a ‘this is a blues song’.
Gringo Star has got their sound covered, you can hear their influences quite clearly throughout the album. It’s an interesting mix of eclecticism and idiosyncratic indulgence that would no doubt appeal to those inclined towards psychedelic bangers and a whimsical time-travel in sound.