Ride – Weather Diaries – Album Review
Strangely, its seems a bit dull saying this is their first album since 1996. Their thunder has been well and truly stolen by the Jesus and Mary Chain (19 years) and Slowdive (22 years). This is definitely the year of the long awaited return and 90’s indie music is being reborn, a little bit older and wiser than before. Since the break up of the band, the members have been working on various musical projects. Mark Gardener worked with Robin Guthrie, releasing an album in 2015. Andy Bell worked with Oasis and eventually Beady Eye, the less said about this the better!
This album should come as no real surprise following the demise of Beady Eye in 2014. The band have also played a number of high profile gigs, including Coachella and Primavera Sound. So what of the merits of the album itself? Well, if you followed Ride right to the bitter end, Tarantula in 1996, the sound of the album is as expected. It follows up fairly neatly from where they left off.
It opens with Lannoy Point, a relatively straight forward guitar driven track, with the obvious thing being the clarity of the guitar sound, without the heavy distortion of their earlier work. The first single off the album, Charm Assault, opens with a blast of guitar before settling into a comfortable groove. Home is a Feeling is a blissed out affair, with shimmering keyboard and distant vocals. Title track Weather Diaries is a slow burn, building into an epic guitar soundscape towards the end of its seven minute running time.
‘Your charm assault
Has scarred the world
It looks so ugly
As your lies begin to unfurl’ – Charm Assault
The second half of the album takes a few more chances, with some enjoyable results. Lateral Alice is a short, sharp blast built around a pounding bass line. Cali has a distorted guitar but a clear vocal sound, dreaming of summer and blue oceans. Final track White Sands opens with piano and vocals, before slowly adding guitar into the background.
‘There is a lil’ wind blowin’
Maybe you feel it too
Strange people on the rise
One day they’re gonna come for you’ – All I Want
Only time will tell whether this return will last or whether it’s short lived. The album is certainly enjoyable, although it is unlikely to win many new audience members. The lyrics are nothing to write home about, but they never were. The album is built around solid guitar lines and we expect no more or less! And for those that remember the days of floppy hair and gazing at your shoes… it’s good to have them back!
1. Lannoy Point 05:58
2. Charm Assault 04:13
3. All I Want 03:57
4. Home Is A Feeling 03:20
5. Weather Diaries 07:00
6. Rocket Silver Symphony 05:25
7. Lateral Alice 02:56
8. Cali 06:29
9. Integration Tape 02:27
10. Impermanence 04:24
11. White Sands 06:09