R. Ring - Fallout & Fire b/w See (7 inch)
It’s been a quiet couple of years for both Kelley Deal and Mike Montgomery, the duo now known as R. Ring. Deal was last heard as lead guitarist back in 2008 with the Breeders album, Mountain Battles. The last time she fronted a band in the studio goes back to 1997, with The Kelley Deal 6000’s Boom! Boom! Boom!. Montgomery’s outfit, Ampline, released their last record in 2010.
To be sure, both Deal and Montgomery are indie veterans. As is often the case, rock musicians rarely stay inspired into their forties, much less beyond. Thankfully, this 7” proves R. Ring to be an exception to this rule.
“Fallout & Fire” carves a little chunk out of time with its hypnotic and repetitive electric guitar figures. Almost in the blues tradition of the 20’s and 30’s, it holds its simple rhythmic core while using vibes, keys, and layered guitars to advance a short narrative. Deal sings over all this with beauty and halcyon restraint, recalling Cat Power’s glory days and owning the song completely.
“See”, which features drummer and pro skater Kristan Svitak, picks things up, creating a raucous foundation for distorted chunk-chunk-chunk guitars and a busier melody. Montgomery takes the lead vocal, with Deal providing some truly excellent harmonies. As a B-side, it validates R. Ring’s dynamic range. At 1:52, it’s almost over before it starts. I definitely could have used some more!
Although the members of R. Ring have been involved in various projects throughout the years, I can honestly say I like this as much as any of them. I can’t wait till they release an LP!