I can’t think of shoegaze as a sub-genre without thinking of three instrumental bands in its original late 80s early 90s heyday: My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and this band: Ride. All three made a resurgence in the 2010s, releasing new music and reissuing old. The latest to resurface is this, Ride’s simply titled 4 EPs.
Containing 4 EPs released by the alt rock shoegaze band in its early days, this is the first time they’ve been collected and released together as one. In other words, songs and even the entire EPs have likely shown up elsewhere here and there, but never before like this!
What’s Included in 4 EPs
4 EPs was released on Nov 4, 2022 on Wichita Recordings as a double LP on a lone vinyl pressing (aka no other variants) with white wax and as a CD. Here’s what you get:
- A side is self titled Ride EP from 1989
- B side is their Play EP from 1990
- C side is their Fall EP also from 1990
- D side is their 1991 EP Today Forever
Play EP includes “Like a Daydream,” one of my all-time favorite Ride songs.
Remaster or Reissue?
On Discogs, there’s a note that states “original audio reworked and refined.” This leads me to believe it may actually be remastered as opposed to merely a reissue.
If it is a remaster, what that means is recordings aren’t cut from original masters. Instead, they would include alterations and enhancements. That makes me quite excited to take a listen to the B side and do a side-by-side comparison to my copy of their Play EP.
But, I haven’t done my due diligence here yet. If someone has found confirmation of this, please drop a link in the comments!
Unboxing 4 EPs by Ride
The record comes in a “reverse board” gatefold sleeve. What that means is that rather than printing on the coated side, it’s printed on the uncoated side which gives it a nice effect.
To understand what that actually means, here’s a quote from RecordIndustry.com:
“Because the uncoated side of the board has an open structure, it will absorb more of the ink, printed on the board. When printing on the reverse side of the board the ink will simply ‘sink in’ more than when the artwork is printed on the gloss side of board. This might affect the outcome of your artwork. Colouring, especially darker parts of the print might have less contrast. A heavy print on backside board also needs a longer drying time before we can use the board to fold sleeves. The drying time is very important, as dark print can cause marks on the light parts of the print.”The Backside of Printing on Reverse Board [RecordIndustry.com, 7/9/2020]
I’ll attest to that being someone with a marketing agents background who has managed the printing process for clients. I’ve seen it first hand where dark, full saturation printing wasn’t given enough drying time and “transferred” to a lighter flip side. This is something I mostly saw on matte printing of business cards.
With a design like this, there’s less heavy printing and the design looks great and clean. Adequate time was given for sure.
Inside the gatefold is a full spread photo of the band from their early days. And the back is simply the track list with label information and a barcode.
It also comes with a cool 16-page booklet featuring a variety of photos and an essay by Nathaniel Cramp, the founder of Sonic Cathedral Recordings. The booklet includes black and white photos of the band members, cover art for all four EPs included on this release, and live photos of the band.
For a deeper look inside, here’s my video coverage and unboxing of the record from my YouTube Channel:
About 4 EPs and Ride
Not much new can be said about these releases or about the band Ride. But, if you’re a fan of shoegaze, in particular the sub-genre’s heyday around the late 80s and early 90s. And, of course, if you enjoyed Ride’s debut LP Nowhere, which included the single “Vapour Trail” (probably the band’s most cherished tune out there), there’s a good chance this will be right up your alley.
Given it’s on Wichita, a UK label, it does come at a bit of a price if you want to pick it up stateside. I think I got mine on Amazon and after tax and everything it ran about $60. But, if you consider the flip side of picking up each of the four EPs, it’ll run you at least double that if not more given their scarcity. So I’d say it’s worth it!