Friday, April 14, 2006
BLAST FROM THE PAST!
Here's a particularly nostalgic review - in fact, my very 1st published review (cheap thrill, eh?) ever in a 1992 issue of BigO (Before I Get Old) magazine. Still agree with its sentiments as well. Ride, sadly, was a one-trick pony and never did recover from the shoegazing majesty of the early EP and the Nowhere album. I mean, Andy Bell is now playing bass with Oasis.... Nuff said.
Going Blank Again
Ride have been hailed, in some quarters, as the true great Brit guitar hope. The Oxford-based quartet has been described as a marriage of the Byrds with Sonic Youth - sort of like '60s pop with a '90s crunch.
In truth, their sound is nothing new. Ride are no trend-setters.
Rather, they can be seen as developing the style that was initiated before them by their Creation stable-mates, The Jesus And Mary Chain and the House Of Love.
On Going Blank Again, their sophomore album, the band has clearly moved on and matured
from the jaded work evident on their last release, 1991's Today
Forever EP - The group has taken their formula - noisy guitars, staccato drumbeats and
indecipherable vocals - a bit further with the exploration of "new" guitar sounds (over the
hitherto solely employed, fuzzy-overdriven, feedback-laden grunge) by utilising synthesizer
The gritty sentiments of Leave Them All Behind, complete with Who-like keyboard intro, the
magnificent ambience of Chrome Waves and the jangly pop-sense of Twisterella are examples of the best this so-called "oceanic" rock genre can offer.
Make no mistake about it, Ride take aim for the heart and not intellect - their lyrics are, by
and large, psychodelic gooblygook, especially on Time Machine, and in that respect, they
truly deliver music that sweeps the unwary listener off his feet, emotionally.
And yes, Ride's Going Blank Again does have its drawbacks. The most serious of which is the
common accusation that they place undue emphasis on form over substance. While it may be
true that the songs are sonically appealing, there are times where the songs don't seem to have
much meat on the bones. Songs like Time Of Her Time, Cool Your Boots, 0X4 and the Today Forever EP are prime examples.
Worse still, Ride can be downright derivative like in Mousetrap wherein they lift wholesale the chord structure of The Beatles' You Won't See Me and even this feat was achieved
by The Jam 15 years ago on I Need You (from This Is The Modern World). All of which leaves Going Blank Again a mixed bag. (My head says 6 but my heart says 8 so I’ll give this a 7!).