Gringo Star parties like it’s 1969. The latest proof can be found on the opening track on the Atlanta band’s freshly minted third album, Floating Out to See. The brief, all-instrumental “In the Heat” sounds like a Syd Barrett fever dream, a hazy, atmospheric tone-setter to an album that again mines Gringo Star’s long-running fascination with ’60s Garage Pop, while also throwing in a few new elements (like the tasty flamenco guitar flourishes that mark “Going Way Out”).
But these guys are no nostalgia act — especially live, where the band (bolstered on the current tour by guitarist Michael Oliva and drummer Rob Stamler from Cincinnati’s own The Harlequins) rarely fails to convince those in attendance that what they’re experiencing could only have been conjured in the here and now.
“The tour has been an absolute blast,” Oliva writes via email. “Playing all types of bars and venues and crowds as small as five people and big as 600-plus.”
Oliva says the shift from fronting The Harlequins to conveying someone else’s vision has been an easy one.
“I’ve been a fan of their music for awhile, so it comes naturally,” he writes. “And our styles are very similar. We’re a little bit heavier so it’s nice to hold back and just cater to their song styles.
“I am there to make them look good,” Oliva adds. “I think we’ve been able to do so.”
GRINGO STAR and The Harlequins play Friday, Dec. 13, at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Click here for more info .