Review: Rings – Black Habit

Rings / Photo by Kathy LoIt’s hard to classify Rings on first glance: This all-female band incorporates elements of experimental music, the modern pop tradition and Eno-inflected ambient, creating an ultimately unique style of music somewhere between the ranks of The Books, Broken Social Scene and Gorge Trio.

Invoking such diverse musical styles is difficult when creating experimental music, and Rings certainly managed to succeed in the matter. What’s interesting, though, is that these elements are not forefront endeavors; rather, a fair bit of examination is required to infiltrate the obscurity that surrounds the band and Black Habit.

Rings — “Mom Dance” | download

What’s most difficult about the music created by Rings is not simply understanding its nature, though it is a challenge we’re presented with. No, it’s more along the lines of simply listening to the music for extended periods of time. This is a challenge for all groups, of course, but it is uniquely prominent among experimental music.

Part of the danger here is the droning and repetitive nature of much experimental music, though, with some effort, problems of this nature can be avoided. Rings does well to steer clear during the vast majority of the music’s timeline, but, for instance, “Scape Aside” doesn’t quite escape from the problem and becomes a bit grating.

In a larger sense, though, Rings has created an engaging album that points to the potentiality of very good, innovative music from the band. For a first album, this is more than just a little successful – and it’s important to keep in mind that they’ve got a long way until they make a genuine impact on the musical landscape; such is the nature of experimental music.

This review was originally published at and in the University Journal at Southern Utah University.

[amtap amazon:asin=B0010DJ2D2]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.