EP review – Ride

Ride -‘Tomorrow’s Shore’ EP (Wichita)
Last year Ride released their fifth album Weather Diaries. It was their first album in 22 years, since Tarantula, which was released as the band dissolved. Now the band have issued a new four-track EP, Tomorrow’s Shore – in which they continue to work their magic.

It’s pretty fitting that this should be an EP. After all, released around their debut LP there were four stunning EPs (Ride, Play, Fall and Today Forever) which were – and remain – stunning releases in their own right. By the end of 1994 pretty much everyone on their original record label, Creation, had been eclipsed by the arrival of new labelmates Oasis – but tellingly, they too released singles (usually four track ones) that formed complete packages.
Nearly a year on, a listen to Weather Diaries confirms that it really was a return to form, to the essence of their first two albums – but moving forward, rather than trying to cling to past glories. Tomorrow’s Shore stands on its own terms, whilst forming a companion piece.
Partly this may be the decision to work with both Alan Moulder (who produced their first two albums Nowhere and Going Blank Again) and Erol Alkan again. It makes for an extremely satisfying listening experience.
Opening with ‘Pulsar’ it striking that while the term shoegazing was coined because of bands staring at their feet (because of all the foot pedals, duh), this seems to be music that reaches for the stars. Even if lyrically it talks of returning home from another star. It’s fuzzed-up and fabulous, and explains the astronaut on the cover.
‘Keep It Surreal’ is reminiscent of New Order’s first two LPs. ‘Cold Water People’ is perhaps the weakest of the four tracks, not helped by the early part of the track sounding deliberately – and unnecessarily- out of tune. It does get better (and back in tune) in the second half of the track.
The EP closes with ‘Catch You Dreaming.’ A few plays of this track reveals it to be a Ride epic in the vein of ‘Leave Them All Behind’ ‘Vapour Trail’ or ‘Today.’ It’s got perhaps the perfect shoegazing title, and it’s something to lose yourself in. One of the best tracks of the year so far, in fact.
It’s worth finding the twenty minutes to appreciate this release. On this evidence, Ride have the ability to carry on making great music, and it’s a comeback that continues to be worth it. Let’s hope we hear more from them soon.
Tomorrow’s Shore is out now on Wichita

Album Review – Ride

Ride – ‘Weather Diaries’ (Wichita)

Legendary shoegazers Ride first reformed back in 2014, but Weather Diaries is their first studio album since 1996’s Tarantula. That album, pretty much released simultaneously with their dissolution, came out on Creation. Ride had been Creation’s first chart-bothering act, but one has to wonder how many of their label mates felt put into the shade when Oasis went, umm, supersonic in 1994.

Ask Ride fans what their favourite album is, and people will still staunchly defend one album over another. For my money, their debut Nowhere is still their best, and the first four EPs (Ride, Play, Fall and Today Forever)  that were released around that. It’s telling that this album’s opening track ‘Lannoy Point’ sounds like it could have been from Ride’s first twelve months.

The first four tracks are strong, and  ‘All I Want’ and ‘Home Is A Feeling’ have already been released building up to the albums. It’s reminiscent of how Ride were always capable of rocking or jangling, rather than simply producing the shoegazing journalistic sonic cathedrals of sound. The album’s been produced by Erol Alkan, who’s done a fantastic job of it. 

What is disappointing, though, is that it feels that the album does drop a bit when it reaches the title track, perhaps the weakest point on the album. It does seem to take a while to pick up again. There has been some criticism that the album hasn’t been sequenced in the best way – the closing track ‘White Sands’ somehow feels like an odd finish; while it’s beautiful, it doesn’t seem to feel like a proper ending.

However, this is a comeback album that mostly succeeds. While it may not win them huge quantities of new fans, it will certainly delight the many who fell for them all those years ago.


Weather Diaries is out now on Wichita



Getting stoked for Ride’s comeback album

I wrote a few months ago about how excited I was about the return of Ride. Their first album for twenty-one years, Weather Diaries, will be released on June 16.

I’ve previously posted two tracks that were available from the album, ‘Charm Assault’ and ‘Home Is A Feeling.’ Having not been able to write much during the last few months (loooonnng story) I didn’t post ‘All I Want’, also taken from the forthcoming album, but now I do…

…along with the remix of the track done by GLOK (AKA Ride’s Andy Bell), which clocks in at ten minutes long, and is also rather fine in its own right.


Ride will be touring England and Scotland in November, the dates are as follows, and tickets are available from tomorrow (June 7). :

Tuesday 7th Nov London Forum Kentish Town
Wednesday 8th Nov Birmingham O2 Institute
Thursday 9th Nov Bristol SWX
Friday 10th Nov Leeds Beckett Student Union
Sunday 12th Nov Liverpool Academy
Monday 13th Nov Newcastle Boiler Shop
Tuesday 14th Nov Edinburgh Queens Hall

The return of Ride

1990s shoegaze heroes Ride first reformed back in 2014. They have announced the release of their fifth studio album in the summer on Wichita, produced by Erol Alkan.

Over the last 36 hours they have revealed two new tracks from the as-yet untitled album, ‘Charm Assault’ and ‘Home Is A Feeling.’ While the former is more reminiscent of their last studio album, 1996’s Tarantula, ‘Home Is A Feeling’ is a gentler affair, evoking the sound of their early EPs and debut album Nowhere.

Of ‘Charm Assault’ guitarist Andy Bell stated ‘[It’s] is a pretty straightforward expression of frustration and disgust at the people who currently run our country.’

Mark Gardener (vocals) says: “‘Home Is A Feeling’ to me is like a slow, wide-screen, sonically, layered, slowed motion warm wash. Like returning home as dawn rises totally exhausted and spangled after a long ..long …big, great night out’”

Andy Bell says: Out of all the new songs ‘Home Is A Feeling’ comes closest to the early Ride sound. We felt comfortable going vintage on this tune because the album we are making has a pretty broad sonic scope. It’s a short and sweet, melodic tune, with stacked harmonies, reverbed-out guitars, slowed down drums, and a huge distorted bass sound. Erol [Alkan, producer] put his sage-scented electronic wizards hat on to sample up some of our harmonies and make them into a synthesiser preset, which we ended up using on this and some of the other tunes too. We wanted this song to sound jet lagged, so everything on it was recorded with varispeed, either faster or slower than real time. It’s like 1966 Beatles meets 1988 MBV… in other words, Ride.”


The Cure vs. Ride

Robert Smith - the cure

It’s now 25 years since Ride released their debut album, Nowhere. To these ears, the shoegazing legends were at their finest on their debut album, and their first four EPs.

November 6 will see the album re-issued, and Robert Smith of The Cure has remixed the album’s closing track ‘Vapour Trail.’ Although it’s not on the forthcoming re-issue, it can be downloaded as a two-track single via iTunes. There are two versions – a longer version that comes in at nearly seven and a half minutes…

…and a shorter one at five minutes.

Robert Smith and The Cure have been busy of late. Whilst rumours of a sequel to 4:13 Dream continue to circulate, the band have announced they will tour the US in 2016 (see their website for details). Support comes from 17 Seconds favourites The Twilight Sad, who earlier this year featured Robert Smith’s cover of their song ‘There’s A Girl In The Corner’ as the b-side to their single ‘It Never Was The Same.’ You can hear that here.

And if anyone doubted The Cure’s legacy, it’s telling that in recent months, both Natalie Imbruglia (on her album Male) and Yo La Tengo (on their album Stuff Like That There) have covered ‘Friday I’m In Love.’ You can hear them by clicking on the links. Maybe I should do a post dedicated to cover versions of The Cure…

* note: the original release of the album on cassette and LP had ‘Vapour Trail’ as the closing track. The CD added three tracks from the Fall EP, the lead track on the EP being ‘Dreams Burn Down’ which was on the album. Just to add to the confusion, some versions of the album on CD also add all four tracks of the subsequent Today Forever EP. However, as far as I am concerned, the original album is eight tracks long, and closes with ‘Vapour Trail.’

Just a quick one…

…it’s been a busy week.

The day job has required lots of marking, which has brought untold stresses with it.

The selling of records continues apace – I found myself trudging around Glasgow today with business partner and a heavy box of 7″s.

But there are now lots of places you can buy the single in Edinburgh and Glasgow with more to come. I even bumped into Matthew from Song, By Toad when I popped into Avalanche in Edinburgh at the end of the day.

There will be exciting reviews, music etc.. to come….I haven’t forgotten my blog and its’ loyal readers, I promise.

I had Ride on in the car over to Glasgow.

They still sound fab…

Ride -‘Chelsea Girl.’

…though this might be my favourite Ride track, and nothing to do with the Smashing Pumpkins song of the same name…

Ride -‘Today.’

More Peel, anyone?

John Peel engaging in one of his and my favourite activities

OK, some more from Peelie’s Festive Fifty…

Mo-Dettes -‘White Mice.’ mp3
(1980 Festive Fifty no.56)

Shop Assistants -‘Safety net. ‘ mp3 (1986 Festive Fifty, no.8) (For AJ!)

Inspiral Carpets featuring Mark E. Smith -‘I Want You.’ mp3 (1994 Festive Fifty no.1)

Prince -‘Sign O’ The Times.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.32)

Sluts Of Trust -‘Leave You Wanting More.’ mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.5)

The Fall -‘Don’t Call Me Darling.’ mp3 (1995 Festive Fifty no.24)

M/A/R/R/S/ -‘Pump Up The Volume.’ mp3 (1987 Festive Fifty no.46)

10,000 Maniacs -‘Can’t Ignore The Train. ‘ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.59)

Ride -‘Dreams Burn Down.’ mp3 (1990 Festive Fifty no.3)

Aphex Twin -‘Girl/Boy.’ mp3 (1996 Festive Fifty no.29)

More vinyl goodness will be appearing here later today…watch this space…

150th post!

Hi there.

well, it’s continuing to be a journey as I get my head around the technology, but I thought I would give you ten great tracks from five great bands, to celebrate my 150th post here at 17 Seconds.

First of all, what better way to start than the song that gave this blog its title and the first hit for my favourite ever group The Cure

The Cure-‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3

The Cure-‘A Forest.’ mp3

Buy Seventeen Seconds here

Next up, rumours have been flying across the blogs that these guys might reform. Having missed them thr first time round, it would be kinda cool… The first track is from their debut ep Ride, and the second is from their debut album Nowhere. The coda on Vapour Trail is just gorgeous.

Ride-‘Drive Blind.’ mp3

Ride-‘Vapour Trail.’ mp3

Buy OX4-the Best Of Ride here

These guys have gone from squat punks to post-punk visionaries to new pop to hip-hop to…still bloody amazing. This is their first single, from 1978 and their excellent 1981 single, which features the keyboards of one Robert Wyatt. bear in mind, if you haven’t heard any Scritti pre-‘Wood Beez’ you may be takken aback.

Scritti Politti -‘Skank Bloc Bologna.’ mp3

Scritti Politti-‘The ‘Sweetest Girl.’.’ mp3

Buy Early by Scritti Politti here

You can never have too much Scottish indie (certainly not as far as this block’s concerned!), so the next brace is the first two Orange Juice singles, released on the seminal Postcard label:

Orange Juice-‘Falling And Laughing.’ mp3

Orange Juice-‘Blue Boy.’ mp3

buy The Glasgow School here

Finally, one recent purchase was the first two, re-issued Ian McCulloch albums, now re-issued on CD with bonus tracks. The first track here is the album Candleland‘s first single, and the second is a re-recording featuring none other than Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. Enjoy!

Ian McCulloch-‘Proud To Fall.’ mp3

Ian McCulloch featuring Elizabeth Fraser -‘Candleland (The Second Coming).’ mp3

Buy Candleland here

As always, support the artists involved. These links will be up for one week only. Cake, anyone?