RIDE – ” Nowhere ” (Reissue)

Posted: April 27, 2022 in MUSIC

It’s a good day for lots of Ride news. Please read on for more on the imminent Nowhere30tour, the reissues, new merch and a live film.

Firstly, we were really looking forward to getting out and touring the 30th anniversary of “Nowhere” back in 2020. Then the pandemic hit and delayed our plans, but here we are in 2022 and we are still buzzing about getting out on the road, if anything, more so than before.

The 30th-anniversary reissue of Ride‘s seminal 1990 debut, “Nowhere”, should have come out in 2020, but, of course, stuff got in the way. Here it is in 2022, though, on vinyl, with a gatefold sleeve and embossed artwork, and on CD. So time again to marvel at a defining work of British shoegaze. Time again to dance moodily to jangly guitars and mopey harmonies, interjected by moments of sheer psychedelic distortion, and pedal-enhanced guitar solos.

The confidence the Oxford four-piece, barely out of their teens, had in merging elements of the Byrds and My Bloody Valentine is astounding. That they had truly hit on something special is also evident from the fact that post-Britpop, post-Radiohead, and post-Coldplay these songs sound fresher than ever. The opener, “Seagull”, is still both thunderous and trippy, “Polar Bear” is still surging and ferocious, and “Vapour Trail” is still simply immense and spell-bounding. All hail an album as important to the development of British rock as (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

We feel that “Nowhere” is a debut album worth celebrating, and as well as the tour, we’ve decided to start pressing new editions of the vinyl from the original Ride era. The first batch not only includes “Nowhere“, but also Going Blank Again, and an album we’ve created out of the first “4 EPs”. This new album has given us a chance to create some new (but old school) Ride artwork which we are pretty pleased with. 

Nowhere” was originally released on 15th October 1990, featuring classic tracks including “Vapour Trail”, “Polar Bear” and “Dreams Burn Down”. Widely considered one of the greatest albums not only of the ‘shoegaze’ genre, but of the 90s, “Nowhere” was Creation Records’ first Top 75 album, peaking in the UK album charts at number 11.

One of the seminal records of the shoegazer movement, Ride’s “Nowhere” typifies all of the best qualities of the movement’s sound. Shimmering, psychedelic atmospheres, squalling guitars shot through with distortion, and hypnotic drones balanced by genuine pop songcraft are all on ample display here, and are executed with a precision and mastery that represent the pinnacle of their technique. ‘Seagull’ the album’s opener, pushed by the swirling twin guitar attack of Andy Bell and Mark Gardener, is simultaneously thunderous and radiant. Surging cuts like ‘Polar Bear’ testify to Ride’s skill at building dynamic tension and ringing sonic drama. But Ride were more than mere noise-merchants; their debt to psychedelic ’60s pop also results in some fine song writing, as the chiming, arepeggiated pop confection ‘Taste’ reveals. Nowhere is Ride’s finest moment, and as a definitive document of shoegazer bliss, it ranks right alongside My Bloody Valentine’s classic Loveless.

Back in the early 90s, before indie bands made the tabloids, Ride were one of our great white hopes. Fusing the sonic headrush of My Bloody Valentine with the Byrds’ jingle-jangle immediacy, they seemed destined to shine. Debut album “Nowhere” captured them at their adolescent peak and “Vapour Trail” is effectively their signature tune; FX pedal-enhanced guitar assaults and nascent teenage vocals tempered by a love of all things pop.

Still to come are reissues of Ride’s final two original era albums: 1994’s “Carnival of Light” and 1996’s “Tarantula”. 

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