Saturday, 26 April 2014

RING RING ROUGE - ALBUM REVIEW

Ring Ring Rouge - Head Full Of Fog (Jack To Phono Records) 
Ring Ring Rouge - Head Full Of Fog

Release Date: 28th April 2014

It's not often you come across a band with two members with the surname Starr but it's even less often that you find a band with a member called Clive. Nothing against Clives in general but it's just not the most rock'n'roll of names. Then again, Radiohead have a Colin and Reef had a Kenwyn so I guess I'll just have to get over my prejudices. This album by the Burnley quartet opens with 'In The Morning', a song that starts with a sleepy, countrified guitar riff that feels like a warm hug after a long night shift as the rich vocals waft gently through the air. 'Never Leave Home' follows and instantly the pace is lifted immediately as the band embrace their tender, anthemic indie side before 'Lost And Found' strolls in like a prodigal son returning to the small town saloon.

Ring Ring Rouge populate that area of moodily uplifting indie rock where you'd also find Snow Patrol, Athlete and Coldplay kicking back with a continental lager and plenty of leather jackets. 'Today' is a great example of this genre before 'Interval' features the spoken word tales of a broadly accented northern lady accompanied by some gentle guitar and the sound of rain. 'Strangers' has an Elvis Costello ballad feel to it while 'Dr Feelgood' starts with some unaccompanied vocals before the band join in with some full on, swaggering rock'n'roll which nobody was expecting (much less the mental fairground music that closes the track). Album title track 'Head Full Of Fog' is a sweeping yet understated indie epic that swells to a beautifully emotional climax.

As we approach the tail end of the album, Ring Ring Rouge come up with another surprise in the dark, brooding melodies of 'Play On' which has gorgeous bass line and a beat that does just enough to move things forward without over playing it's part. 'Round Here' has a lilting, Crowded House feel which is familiar and comfortable while closing track 'House' starts with the sound of a brass ensemble before a stadiums sized guitar riff rings out like a sinister omen of things to come. Ring Ring Rouge are one of those bands that you will enjoy listening to and will reveal new things every time you listen to them but, for some inexplicable reason, I can't quite find enough of a hook on this album to believe this will take off in the way the band perhaps deserve. I do like to be proved wrong though...

More information: https://www.facebook.com/ringringrouge?fref=ts

Live Dates:

9th May - Puzzle Hall, Sowerby Bridge
15th May - Bare Arts, Todmorden (Acoustic)

14th June - The Woodman, Burnley

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