At 6:03 PM, averaging sixty miles per hour, the Bent Outta Shape train leaves Brooklyn, heading west. At 9:18 AM, averaging seventy-seven miles per hour, the Swingin’ Utters missed their train going East. Been drinking. Paul Weller is the engineer somewhere in the Midwest. The math’s deceptive, though. When the trains collide somewhere in South Dakota, it’s no accident. Instead of being a mangle of two not-recognized-as-compatible approaches to music, there’s a beautiful and twisted fusion that help make The Ringers unique. Listened to with half an ear, they could be construed as street punk, but that’s a disservice. The songs are more about troubled hearts and misinterpreted good intentions instead of dress codes and skewed views of patriotism that end in someone getting physically hurt. The Bent Outta Shape-isms, in turn, are roughed up, lovingly bruised, and broken-glassed. The Ringers continue getting better with each release, I believe, because they’re sounding more and more like themselves and not a calculated collision in a barren land.
–todd (1234 Go!)