Posts Tagged ‘Nowhere’

On this day in 1990, Oxford, England shoegazers Ride unleashed their debut album, “Nowhere”, at the height of shoegaze, and it still stands up as one of the genre’s defining works.  The word “shoegaze”  became one of my favorite musical styles. Nowhere” is the debut album by Ride, released 15th October 1990. Rolling Stone called the album “a masterpiece”,one of [shoegazing’s] enduring moments”. Ride had released three EPs, Ride, Play, and Fall, prior to the release of “Nowhere”  .

Before the ear-splitting beauty of My Bloody Valentine, the sugary noise-pop of The Jesus and Mary Chain or the washed-out soundscapes of Slowdive,

“Vapour Trail,” though this string-filled ballad wasn’t quite full-on shoegaze like the remainder of the record, its swirling, transcendent energy and chiming 12-string guitars left me wanting more. I previously knew of the band’s co-lead singer and guitarist Andy Bell as the bassist in Oasis, but after I heard him sing on “Vapour Trail” with soft-hearted conviction, At the time theybecame my new favorite band—Ride.

The opening track, “Seagull,” I was met by a guitar assault, an unrelenting drone-like groove, breakneck drums and the harmonized co-lead vocals of Mark Gardener and Bell. Sure,  This LP made me completely rethink the capabilities of musical transcendence.

I’d been exposed to uplifting romanticism and isolating sadness colliding in the same song before with artists like The Smiths and The Cure, but never with such extreme poles as Ride. On the eight tracks of “Nowhere”, Ride fired a distorted wash of piercing guitars, Loz Colbert’s vigorous percussion, bassist Steve Queralt’s clamoring melodies and Gardener and Bell’s angelic vocal harmonies. Songs shift from the soft wisp of “Dreams Burn Down” and “Vapour Trail” to the chugging chaos of “Decay” and “Kaleidoscope,” but more often than not, they incorporate both delicate allure and fierce annihilation within the same song.

Ride are a musical contradiction, and the best shoegaze music excels at contradiction. One of the things that kept pulling me back to Ride’s “Nowhere” and the rest of their discography and separated them from other shoegaze bands I love—was their refusal to obscure their harmonious vocals. If you were to transcribe the lyrics of bands like Cocteau Twins or My Bloody Valentine, you’d probably get a different set of words with each attempt due to their washed out sound mix. But with Ride, they preserved their distorted onslaught of instrumentals while allowing their shimmery pop vocals a la The Byrds or Teenage Fanclub to remain fully audible. Its opening cut, “Seagull,” is a stunning exploration of strung-out guitar notes and elongated vocal textures; a mission statement, for what would be one of shoegaze’s most pristine moments. “Definitions confine thoughts, they are a myth” Mark Gardener muses, The Songs like “Seagull” and “Polar Bear” display the perfect fusion of Gardener and Bell’s vocals with their discernible Oxford tongue and even those turned off by their wall of sound would admit to being charmed by their vocal match made in heaven.

The discourse around shoegaze seems mostly to be structured around a Holy Trinity dynamic, with Slowdive, Ride and My Bloody Valentine making up the trio of essential bands within the genre. Ride, though, were never quite as exclusive to reverb and hushed vocals as the other two, tailing off into Britpop, the total opposite of shoegaze, territory far too often to be considered their greatest. “Nowhere”, though, was arguably the highlight of their discography—a cohesively immersive, stunningly crafted shoegaze coup.

For a brief moment in 1990, Ride defied definition—crafting one of the most mind-bending and utterly stunning records of the era. Leaving “Nowhere” out of any record collection is totally inexcusable.

I’ve since come to know and love the overwhelming disarray of My Bloody Valentine, the hypnotic spirituality of early Verve, the sprightly, quiet firestorm of Lush and the intricate shoegaze-pop of DIIV, but it all began with Ride’s Nowhere. I’m not sure I would be able to come to grips with the harsh underbelly of bands like those along with the ambient work of Grouper or the atmospheric dream-pop of Galaxie 500 if it weren’t for the noisy, divine abyss of shoegaze via Ride’s Nowhere. I view Ride and Nowhere as the essential connecting tissue between the jangle pop of The Stone Roses, the dream-pop of The Ocean Blue, the discordant haze of My Bloody Valentine and the machine-like krautrock of Toy.

Ride’s welcome revival continues with dizzy new heights for loyal fans as the band announce a UK tour this October to coincide with the 25th anniversary of debut album “Nowhere”.

Oxford four piece Ride have announced an eight date reunion tour to hit the UK this October. Kicking off in Leeds on October 11th, the band stop off at Liverpool Academy on the 15th for what is sure to be a sell out event.

Since a secret gig in their hometown in April was met with rave reviews and a warm welcome back from loyal fans, the Oxford four piece have gone on to play sell out reunion shows across the UK and beyond with headline sets at Coachella, Primavera and Field Day. The announcement from Ride follows the recent trend of nostalgic reunion tours with the eight date tour later this year coinciding with the 25th anniversary of their celebrated début album “Nowhere”We’ve been on the road the last couple of months and really enjoyed it. Thank you for coming to see us, from the crowd reactions, you seemed to enjoy it too. To top it all, music critics seemed to like it – multiple 5* reviews can’t be bad! SO, how can we stop there? Going on sale this Friday at 10am are a set of UK dates. All ticket links over at

11 – Leeds – O2 Academy
14 – London – O2 Academy Brixton
15 – Liverpool – O2 Academy
17 – Bristol – Anson Rooms
18 – Newcastle – O2 Academy
19 – Edinburgh – Corn Exchange
21 – Nottingham – Rock City
22 – Birmingham – Institute

Tickets are expected to sell out swiftly when they go on sale this Friday (June 19). They will available online or via Ticketweb.




Oxford band RIDE rose to prominence in 1989,with a succesfull trio of EP’s and the intensity of their live shows, a hypnotic and moody sounds. In October 1990 they released the debut album a tour de force of intertwinning guitars and intimate vocals. The new deluxe edition brings together the original album plus the EP “Today Forever” and a unreleased live show from the Roxy in 1991.



ride pic

Ride formed in Oxford in 1988 and drawing on the influence of My Bloody Valentine,, with a more rockier feel. Founder member Andy Bell went onto become the bass player in Oasis,this has great Jangly guitars and a brilliant snare drum sound with a beating tambourine takes shoegaze to another level. the debut “NOWHERE” is one of the great shoegaze albums also some exceptional EP’s were released, Laurence Colbert is now with the reformed Jesus and Mary Chain