Ride — Weather Diaries (June 16th, 2017) ★•■•★ Acclaimed indie band from Oxford that produced several records of powerful noise pop, driven by their keen sense of songcraft and dynamics. Ride’s reunion album is the British group’s first since returning the stage in 2015. It’s promising but never quite satisfying, with modern production touches courtesy of DJ Erol Alkan.
★•■•★ A promising comeback whose momentum runs out a little too early. (TYLER CLARK) © Coachella
Location: Oxford, UK
Album release: June 16th, 2017
Record Label: Wichita Recordings
01 Lannoy Point 5:58
02 Charm Assault 4:13
03 All I Want 3:57
04 Home Is a Feeling 3:20
05 Weather Diaries 7:00
06 Rocket Silver Symphony 5:25
07 Lateral Alice 2:56
08 Cali 6:29
09 Integration Tape 2:27
10 Impermanence 4:24
11 White Sands 6:09
★ Erol Alkan Producer
★ Andy Bell Composer, Group Member
★ Loz Colbert Composer, Group Member
★ Chris D’adda Engineer
★ John Davis Mastering
★ Caesar Edmunds Mixing Assistant
★ Mark Gardener Composer, Group Member
★ Alan Moulder Mixing
★ Andrew Ogilvy Portraits
★ Steve Queralt Group Member
★ Ride Additional Production, Composer, Engineer
★ Jimmy Robertson Engineer
★ Nick Scott ArtworkDescription:
•■• Ride’s first album in over twenty years, Weather Diaries, will be released June 16th via Wichita Recordings. The album was produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, and is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early ‘90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. The album will be released through Wichita Recordings and sees the band reunited with label co~founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band’s early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album ‘Nowhere’ and produced it’s follow up ‘Going Blank Again’.
By Reed Strength | June 13, 2017 | 11:13am | Score: 8.5
•■• What separated Ride from their 90’s shoegaze peers was their wildly fun, cocksure take on the sound. The 4 lads from Oxford fused the genre’s trademark melted guitar tones and dreamy songwriting into youthful power pop that maintained its immediacy even during the band’s noisier tendencies.
•■• After releasing two classics, 1990’s Nowhere and 1992’s Going Blank Again, Ride’s hot streak stalled with 1994’s middling Carnival of Light. Around the release of 1996’s largely ignored Tarantula, the creative differences between co~leaders Mark Gardener and Andy Bell finally crumbled the group.
•■• Now, over 20 years later, the band have returned with Weather Diaries, a record that Bell eagerly described as “equal parts Motorhead and William Basinski”. While certainly a head scratching description, longtime fans shouldn’t worry as this is an excellent return that has absolutely nothing to do with ambient speed metal.
•■• U.K producer Erol Alkan’s glossy, full bodied production is a large part of what makes Weather Diaries so damned captivating. Coupled with mixing by longtime collaborator Alan Moulder, the album offers the chance to hear what Ride can conjure in modern high definition, a thrilling prospect for band so dependent on how it wields sound rather than vocals or lyrics.
•■• Further, the 11 tracks on Weather Diaries are carefully sequenced and arranged for maximum impact. The more immediate first half stuffs the album’s three singles one after the other while the second half offers a longer sonic odyssey for listeners to parse through.
•■• Gardener and Bell’s soaring vocals and caterwauling guitar playing remain the core of Ride’s songwriting. On gently pulsating opener “Lannoy Point,” one creates a towering wall of noise as the other plays a gentle lead that glides over the former’s surface like a blurred reflection on a pond.
•■• Drummer Laurence “Loz” Colbert and bassist Steve Queralt counter Gardener and Bell’s sound wizardry with subtle but assured performances. The smoldering propulsion of “Rocket Silver Symphony” would be lost without Colbert’s fills acting as a tether to Bell and Gardener’s mind expanding playing.
•■• It’s this partnership and tight sense of arrangement that result in Weather Diaries most thrilling moments. On the title track, the band deftly uses every second of the six minute runtime to gently guide a downtempo ballad into blissfully psychedelia before the entire track is consumed by a rumbling jet engine of distortion in the concluding moments. Numerous movements and tweaks ensure none of the songs simply linger on the same mind numbing repetition, a key choice that a lot of modern shoegaze records fall victim to.
•■• Even “Cali,” which maintains its central bouncing riff for over six minutes, is worthy of several re~listens due to the amount of kaleidoscopic window dressing it’s stuffed with.
•■• As an alternative to these lengthier moments, Ride offer a few songs of riff first rock that forgo hypnotic ambience in favor of pure adrenaline (the Motorhead, if you will). While the taut riffs of “Charm Assault” can’t rise above its mush~mouthed chorus melody, “Lateral Alice,” surges forward as Gardener narrates a hallucinatory dream involving David Foster Wallace, a surfing Robert Anton Wilson and murder.
•■• Ride have wisely sidestepped retreading old ground by using an updated sonic palette for a furiously fun, endlessly listenable record in Weather Diaries. Whether the first sign of a late career renaissance or a corrective recourse to their shrugging split in the ‘90s, Bell, Gardener, Queralt and Colbert offer a comeback easily on par with their classic output. •■• https://www.pastemagazine.com/
By Ben Cardew | June 18, 2017 | Score: 6.3
BY TYLER CLARK ON JUNE 13, 2017, 6:00AM | Score: B–
Gwilym Mumford | Thursday 15 June 2017 22.15 BST | Score: ****
Website: https://www.thebandride.com/ © Photo credit: David A. Smith