That these sad bastards came back and made a real record is just astounding. The moody vibe throughout is hungover midlife crisis. Dude, you know you're way too old for that surfer girl. Favorite track: Weather Diaries.
Produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, ‘Weather Diaries’ is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early ‘90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive.
The first single from the album, 'Charm Assault' was unveiled in February to a flurry of acclaim from media and fans alike. Marrying the psychedelic muscle of Tame Impala’s “Elephant” with the rhythmic twists and turns of My Bloody Valentine’s “Feed me with your kiss”, Bell and Gardeners’ harmonies evoke The Who playing “A Quick One” at the Rolling Stones "Rock and roll circus". The lyrics see Ride railing at the “focused, raw, reptilian ambition” of certain unspecified people in power, who "set fire to your world, and let it burn”. The song effortlessly flits from section to section, taking in influences ranging from Sonic Youth’s dungeon circa “Death Valley '69” through to a jarring, repetitive chord sequence reminiscent of David Bowie’s “Chant of the ever circling Skeletal Family” - one of the songs Bowie wrote for a musical based on Orwell’s “1984”.
The second taster from the new album revealed last month was ‘Home Is A Feeling’, a widescreen, sonicaly, layered, slowed motion warm wash hinting at the breadth and ambition of the new material on ‘Weather Diaries’. From the huge sonic storm at the end of the eponymous title track 'Weather Diaries' to the addictive verses of 'Cali’, the material is as unmistakably Ride as ever, yet written from the vantage point of men who have experienced life's trials and tribulations. There's an anger at society that comes out in the sprawling opening track 'Lannoy Point' and in 'All I Want', the latter exploring the idea of Britain aping 1930s Germany over cascading drums and multi-layered vocals.
‘Weather Diaries’ Tracklisting:
All I Want
Home Is A Feeling
Rocket Silver Symphony
Praise for 'Weather Diaries':
"an album that strides confidently between garage rock (Lateral Alice), ambient (Integration Tape) and even prog (lead single Charm Assault). It’s all tidily done, and there’s barely a misstep" 4/5 - The Guardian
"a comeback easily on par with their classic output." 8.5/10 - Paste
"Ride's fifth album is something of a triumph and infinitely better than many a fan could have hoped for." 4/5 - The Skinny
"For Ride to produce such a strong album is a wonderful thing. To compare this to their first two albums is silly--bands and entire genres were formed off the back of those records--but does Weather Diaries sit up there with them? Absolutely." 9/10 - The Line Of Best Fit
4/5 - DIY
4/5 - Record Collector
8/10 - Uncut
released June 16, 2017
Written by Andy Bell, Mark Gardener, Laurence Colbert, Steve Queralt
Published by Copyright Control
Produced by Erol Alkan at Vale Studios, Worcestershire and Phantasy Sound, London.
Engineered by Chris D'Adda at Vale Studios and Jimmy Robertson at Phantasy Sound.
Mixed by Alan Moulder at Assault & Battery, London
Mastered by John Davis at Metropolis Mastering, London.
supported by 33 fans who also own “Weather Diaries”
This might be their best album, and that's really saying something. The songs shift seamlessly from crushing to angelic, and there are enough other dynamics and subtleties at play to keep each song interesting. It's my favorite album of 2020, and I don't see that changing any time soon. steverie