Stellar review of R. Ring's 'Ignite the Rest' via All Music.
Collecting most of the songs from R. Ring's singles and EPs, Ignite the Rest tracks the evolution of Mike Montgomery and Kelley Deal's eclectic indie rock. There's a uniquely contemplative feel to early tracks like "Fallout and Fire," where the duo's sweet and rough meditations drift along untethered by drums, while a slight Americana twang peeks out in the moments when Montgomery shares the vocal duties, as on "See," the lovely "You Will Be Buried Here," and "Singing Tower." "100 Dollar Heat" is a standout, showcasing the knack Deal has always had for strangely affecting songs that knock you sideways. Given that she was in one of the bands who helped define the sound of '90s indie rock, there are hints of that decade scattered through Ignite the Rest, but R. Ring don't sound like revivalists. "Cutter" revs like a motor and rocks in the unexpected ways Deal perfected with the Breeders and her other projects, while "Salt" (which is also the theme to vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz' online cooking show Make It Vegan) is chugging perfection, and "Loud Underneath" could be the duo's manifesto thanks to its surprising guitar blasts and outbursts. Here and on more experimental songs like the heat-shimmer drone of "Unwinds," R. Ring sound familiar but not boring, unpredictable but not random, and Ignite the Rest should appeal to anyone who's liked Deal's or Montgomery's work over the years.