Gringo Star bring their retro sound to ten new tracks on their latest record, The Sides and in Between. With a swaggering croon not unlike The Strokes’ frontman Julian Casablancas, Gringo Star’s lead singer, Nicholas Furgiuele, along with his brother and co-songwriter, Peter Furgiuele, revel in vintage-sounding, cinematic stylings and music hall flair throughout their fourth full-length release.
The album’s two standout moments arrive early, first with the single “Magic”, which sounds like Phil Spector producing Surfer Blood, followed immediately by “Get Closer”, a song that finds Furgiuele setting up simple verses that repeatedly lead into a wonderfully catchy chorus. The record is not without derivations, however. The cheery, whistled chorus on “Going Home” is obviously inspired by Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks”, and the melody for the album’s penultimate song, “It’s You”, is Morrissey’s “All The Lazy Dykes” with doo-wop ‘ahs’ added.
Although the band’s influences are at times obvious, and their penchant for musical nostalgia makes for near constant listener evocations, the Atlanta four-piece does a good job of expediently showcasing their retro brand of indie rock. At a running time of just under thirty minutes in length, The Sides and in Between makes for a tidy package that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Nonetheless, while Gringo Star’s younger fans may enjoy repeated listens to this concise collection, veteran aficionados may quickly get bored with the majority of passé offerings here.