R. RING: War Poems, We Rested: LP/CD

May 15, 2023

From the haunting initial call of the album’s release, the muffled declarations and personal requests, sustaining strums of a distant guitar, and building to a crashing glockenspiel crescendo, this is the world you enter, and we’re just two minutes in. Mike Montgomery and Kelley Deal never asked for R. Ring, it found them via their own compulsions and highly skilled ability to recognize a good thing when they see it. A collaboration built on trust, mutual respect, and a desire to make undiluted music that “kicks the breath into you.” Undoubtedly indie rock but with the backbone and texture that you can only give it by having spent decades playing more aggressive music. Shellshag, Songs: Ohia, Superchunk, Guided By Voices might be the most straightforward way to explain the formula at work to someone who’s unfamiliar. But there’s this ethereal sub-realm that gives it its immortality. Bringing to mind: Dead Moon, The Great Unwashed, Suicide, David Kenneth Nance, Westerberg’s 49:00. This is an album that’s playing for keeps. You don’t just become a fan of, you let it into your life, reach for it when you feel hollow. –Daryl (Don Giovanni)

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