Ride Weather Diaries
To most, English indie quartet Ride is one of the trailblazers of the pedal-worshipping shoegazer movement, thanks in large part to the headswimming 1990 classic Nowhere. But to some, Ride is yet another band that failed to live up to its own promise, when 1994’s Carnival of Light and 1996’s Tarantula fell back on a classic-rock safety net. A reunion album 21 years later would only make sense if the band could continue the artistic progression heard on 1992’s Going Blank Again, where Ride applied their dreamy guitars to sharper compositions.
Luckily, more adaptation follows on Weather Diaries, a largely gratifying and tuneful work that feels both immediate and intuitive. Few will reject the trademark fuzz feels on the sunkissed, harmony-rich “Cali” and “Home Is a Feeling,” and the melancholic stunner “Impermanence.” But the band ultimately varies its guitar employment and keeps its head out of the clouds, as on propulsive opener “Lannoy Point,” which seduces with Cure-like riffs and electronic experimentation—the latter no doubt the influence of producer Erol Alkan, who also lends a Krautrockian pulse to “Rocket Silver Symphony.” His masterstroke: allowing Ride to sound like Ride, sans safety net.