Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Ride : "Weather Diaries"

Robert Smith once refused to play a festival unless this band was added to the bill. One of the forefathers of shoe gaze, they proved to be more versatile than other bands in the genre.The guitar tones on this album are incredible. The breathy vocals you are used to hearing on shoe gaze albums, come in but stronger than some of the breathy moans as they are able to harmonize and ride the groove with confidence. After bringing you in with a dreamy groove the second song feels like British garage rock.. The production is very different. The vocals sit behind the reverb heavy guitar. It borders on being too upbeat and happy for me, but after I gave the album a few listens I didn't really mind it. Weird ping pong delay is put on the vocals that are used more as a effect to open "All I Want". The vocals have more of an Oasis feel, which is no mistake as Andy Bell played bass for Oasis at one point. They also hover in the same psychedelic air as Stone Roses. The hooky vocal melodies being one of the strong points.

"Home is a Feeling" finds the guitar more strummed and the vocal harmonies carrying more of a Pink Floyd ambiance. Like most of Pink Floyd's albums this would be a great one to smoke pot to. If you do drugs of any flavor I would highly recommend this. Which is a decision that is easily made even when you are only on the fourth song.The title track a little more melancholy and benefits from a smooth groove where every thing falls in place for the relaxed vocals to add to the mood. It all feels pretty effortless here. The lyrics "it's too perfect something's gotta give" could be more appropriate to describe the music.This song is seven minutes but it breezes by in a way that stops time. It sounds at one point like the song is getting sucked into a David Lynch movie when things begin to get weird.

The weird continues as the first half of "Rocket Sliver Symphony" is atmosphere before busting into lush Brit Pop.  A 90's alt-rock bass lines propels the more driving "Lateral Alice" . "Cali" works off a similar formula but is more relaxed. The atmosphere is laid on even thicker  for "Integration Tape" making it more of an interlude than a song. "Impermanence" is the first song that really adhere's to today's definition of what we have come to think of as Shoe-gaze. There is a much more grandiose tone to "White Sands" that closes the album. It weaves a very dynamic path in the arrangement and makes me think of what it might sound like if Brian Wilson wrote a song for Radiohead.  It's pretty easy to round this album up to  10 as it's easy on the ears and is a testament to their songwriting prowess. Good to have these guys back.

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