Number game: Ride is prepared to release its 1st new album in over 20 years, and with that on the way they’ve leaked 2 tracks off the forthcoming album over the last 24 hours. Ride’s sound has always been synonymous with a wall. Their signature sound hits you hard, echoing through your brain in a wildly transcending way.
For those unaware, Ride surfaced in 1990 with their debut LP Nowhere. Over the next six years, they’d release a handful more full-lengths and several singles. They are often lumped with early shoegaze greats like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.
About a year ago, I fell into an early shoegaze exploration binge. I dove headfirst into Nowhere, one of my favorites of the era with superb tracks like “Seagull”, “Polar Bear” and the highly acclaimed “Vapour Trail”.
Their early sound was one of overwhelming distortion, packed with melody and bordered with trace hints of psychedelic rock. Hear for yourself in “Like a Daydream” off their 12″ EP Play (1990):
“Like A Daydream” found its way onto the band’s 2001 compilation OX4_ The Best of Ride, which was reissued on Record Store Day in 2015 on red vinyl.
So, how do the two new tracks, “Charm Assault” and “Home is a Feeling”, stack up to those early favorites? Let’s find out.
“Charm Assault” by Ride
“Charm Assault” came first. It lacks much of that wall-of-sound you find in their early work, but makes up for it with plenty of catchy vocal hooks and guitar riffs. While I’m definitely digging many factions of the tune, upon first listen I think I prefer the wall of sound.
Still, I very much dig the guitar breakdown about three-fourths of the way through. I honestly think this track will be a grower. It’ll take time, but it has promise to become a sleeper favorite.
Hear “Charm Assault” below and let me know what you think in the comments at the bottom of the page:
“Home is a Feeling” by Ride
Ah ha! HERE is the sound I remember. That melodic, melodramatic, drone-like noise emanating from the guitars. I like “Charm Assault” but I f*cking love “Home is a Feeling”–this is what really excites me about the return of Ride.
It’s much more reminiscent of their early work on Nowhere and of early shoegaze itself. On second listen, it’s a blend of the sound they created on Nowhere with what you’d hear from a contemporary artist of that era like Slowdive.
There are definite aural similarities with that band–here Ride injects the drawn out drone and the dreamy vocals. It’s soft and pleasant, but it has the potential to sweep you away with volumes of reverb-laden guitar. Do you agree?
You’ll find Ride’s new album on Wichita come summertime. Until then, enjoy the tracks above and do yourself a favor by checking out their back catalog from the 90s.