PREMIERE: Gringo Star Unify Sweet Georgia R&B and Sick Atlanta Indie Rock on “The Sides and In Between” LP

Bonus: they still sound nothing like The All-Starr Band.
PREMIERE: Gringo Star Unify Sweet Georgia R&B and Sick Atlanta Indie Rock on “The Sides and In Between” LP

Bonus: they still sound nothing like The All-Starr Band.

Words: Marty Sartini Garner

photo by Vincen Monsaint

August 18, 2016

Gringo Star / photo by Vincen Monsaint

Nick and Peter Furgiueles, the two brothers who are the creative force behind Gringo Star, come by their influences honestly. “Our grandad started out in radio in the ’40s and ’50s in Columbus, Georgia,” Nick says. “He was a huge promoter of R&B back when it was still super segregated, and he was playing black music and putting on shows with Little Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers, a lot of gospel shows.” Their grandmother proudly kept a photo album with shirtless photos Jackie Wilson.

While the heavy reverb, ticked guitars, and oohs and ahs of those early R&B stars are present on The Sides and In Between, the group’s fourth record, which we’re premiering today, the group know better than to build a home on land that is most certainly not theirs. The Sides finds them working those influences into a set of punk-derived pop songs, jangling and mumbling in equal measure. In fact, the sound Gringo Star have developed is quite plastic; “Still Alive” rubs a little vocal smoothness atop a loping country beat punctuated by a deep-baritone sax that sounds like a fed-back guitar (or vice versa, actually). Lead single “Heading South,” meanwhile, feels like an attempt to reconstruct someone else’s nostalgia—a bobby-sock era reimagination of ragtime.

Still, The Sides and In Between is hardly a grab-bag of historical sounds and gimmick arrangements. All of these signifiers are spoken by a singular voice, one forged by the Furgiueles and bandmates Jonathan Bragg and Josh Longino and influenced by the haunted sweetness of fellow Atlantans Deerhunter and Black Lips. Give it a listen below.

Gringo Star tour dates

08.19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium (tickets)
08.21 – New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine (tickets)
08.23 – Rochester, NY @ The Bug Jar
08.24 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott (tickets)
08.25 – Providence, RI @ Fete Music Hall
08.28 – Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room (The Studio)
08.29 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom and Tavern (tickets)
08.30 – Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups (tickets)
08.31 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
09.01 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme (tickets)
09.02 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean (tickets)
09.03 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Cactus Club
09.04 – Madison, WI @ The Frequency
09.06 – Omaha, NE @ O’Leaver’s (tickets)
09.07 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room (tickets)
09.08 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge (tickets)
09.09 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Flux Capacitor
09.10 – Fort Collins, CO @ Downtown Artery
09.14 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court (tickets)
09.15 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux (tickets) *
 09.16 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project (tickets)
09.18 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown (tickets)
09.20 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios (tickets)
 09.22 – San Francisco, CA @ The Rickshaw Stop (tickets)
09.28 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Wayfarer (tickets)
09.29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite (tickets) #
09.30 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar (tickets) #
10.01 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar (tickets) #
10.05 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
10.06 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger (tickets)
10.07 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk (tickets)
10.08 – Dallas, TX @ Doublewide (tickets)
10.14 – Mobile, AL @ The Merry Widow
10.15 – Bimingham, AL @ Workplay (tickets)
10.21 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits (tickets)
10.29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl (tickets)

The Sides and In Between is out 8/26 on Nevado. You can preorder the album here.