So much has happened in the bubble world of guitar rock over the last 17 years. Coincidentally, this happens to be the amount of time that has passed since Oxford, England, 4 piece Ride released their last album. That album, Tarantula, bore many of the hallmarks of a rapidly sinking ship: lyrical arrows aimed at band mates, further stylistic alienation, and the real kick in the shins – having the album deleted by the label that released it, one week after the initial release. It seems that time has been kind to that particular record and to the band’s discography in general. Thankfully for fans of the band co vocalist/ guitarist Andy Bell has a serious inclination for writing elite songs whether it be in projects Hurricane #1, Beady Eye, Oasis, or Ride.
I’ve found previous Ride releases to be subjectively musically dense and standoffish upon initial listens (album 3 Carnival of Light is particularly heady). Because of this, I’m surprised to find Weather Diaries is for the most part quite immediately engaging. Lannoy Point is the starting point for the 9 tracks. The production sounds absolutely gorgeous as a result of the expertise of the band along with new collaborator Erol Alkan. The listener can expect wonderfully assembled sonic cacophony for every second of the albums 11 songs. 2nd track and premiere single Charm Assault wows with arguably one of the band’s greatest guitar motifs during the introduction section.
Weather Diaries B side features 3rd and 4th singles Home is a Feeling and All I Want (krautrock anyone?) which to my fairly attuned ear sound like the most reasonable choices at some bold faced attempts at joining their place among the new guard of artists. Both hit the bullseye with memorable, nuanced, savvy. Repeated listens of this album are especially kind to the willing just as classic Ride albums Nowhere and Going Blank Again are. Subjectively, I find that reunion albums of this ilk seem to wear a bit thin deeper into the work but in a somewhat unsurprising showing, Weather Diaries is excellent overall.
Side C includes Rocket Silver Symphony, a memorable tip of the hat to The Beach Boys, Spiritualized, and the Who (among others). The final act of the album features 4th single Cali which on its own merits is a decent rock & roll song , but stumbles much like Carnival of Light single I Don’t Know Where it Comes From did due to some clunky musical and lyrical phrasing. Overall Weather Diaries is a beautiful addition to the bands excellent body of work.
Release Date: June 16, 2017
Favorite Tracks: “Charm Assault,” ” Home is a Feeling,” “Lannoy Point”
For Fans Of: Beady Eye, Oasis, My Bloody Valentine, Hurricane #1, Deerhunter,