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Ride: Weather Diaries

Ride
Weather Diaries
(Wichita Recordings)

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Ride is arguably one of the most lauded British bands to come from the “shoegaze” movement. Their debut album, 1990’s Nowhere, was heaped with praise by critics and fans alike for its wall of noise, and the band’s name is often uttered in the same breath as My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth.

However, Ride were also just really good at writing songs, not saying the other bands weren’t, but Ride slowly moved their focus from that wall of noise and art rock, to songs that use the noise as another instrument within the pop spectrum. Their latest album, Weather Diaries does its best to keep with that mode of thinking.

The album starts really strong with the driven, reverb-heavy, “Lannoy Point.” The synth makes all the difference and is the best song on the record. Ride uses open spaces and anticipation of that space really well. The same way they use noise as another instrument.  

“Charm Assault” is some of the poppiest music you will ever get from the band with infectious guitar interplay throughout and an almost 60’s sounding chorus breakdown.  “All I Want” continues in that pop vein with a sing along chorus and groove laden bass with drum interplay. “Home is a Feeling” is a PhD in the drone of what they call shoegaze, with a dreamy, slow, chorus of angels that floats along a Midwestern cloud line. “Weather Diaries” follows with the last two minutes, a dirge of sound like a beautiful car crash, or violent waves crashing along a shoreline.

If Weather Diaries were a cassette tape, I would wear out side A. The last half of the record feels like it was written during a different time and just doesn’t click. If this was an EP of the first five songs with the late entry of “Lateral Alice” it would be a classic.

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