Ride – Interplay (2024) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Ride - Interplay (2024) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz] Download

Ride – Interplay (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 58:46 minutes | 738 MB | Genre: Alternative Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Wichita Recordings

Everything feels like it has been leading to Interplay, Ride’s forthcoming seventh album, the third since their 2015 reunion. It’s the sound of the group connecting all the dots, taking the frenzied guitar attacks, hypnotic grooves and dreamy melodic hooks of their early work and setting it to a more expansive sonic template, one that takes in synth flourishes, psychedelic folk, electronic beats and noir-pop soundscapes. It has been a period of adversity in the world of Ride. Much of that was down to writing and recording during a pandemic – a period of adversity shared by everyone, everywhere – but there was also break-ups and a messy legal battle with an ex-manager that, singer and guitarist Mark Gardener states, “threatened our very existence.” It has instilled in the record a feeling of defiance, an album that pairs classic Ride lyrical hallmarks such as escapism, dreams, the dissatisfaction of modern life, yearning and freedom with a sense of resilience. Songs began springing up in a variety of ways. Initially working at Gardener’s own OX4 studio, there were extended jams from which pieces of music would be honed upon and reworked into something more concise whilst each band member also brought in their own home-recorded demos to work from too. That everything was filtered through what happens when the four-piece play in a room together is alluded to the record’s title.Along with Slowdive, Ride has pulled off one of the more unexpected—and creatively rewarding—reunions from shoegaze’s first wave. While the genre has seen a durable resurgence of interest over the last decade and a handful of bands from its ’90s heyday have attempted straight nostalgia runs (Lush, My Bloody Valentine), it’s been just as exciting to hear the surprising revisions and permutations that Ride has made to the sound that made them such a huge—yet ultimately tenuous—part of the original scene.

One must remember that, during the band’s initial run, no two of their albums ever sounded the same, so it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise that, since their 2015 reunion and the 2017 release of Weather Diaries, the 21st century version of the band is just as sonically inconsistent. Interplay blasts out of the gate with the forcefully direct “Peace Sign,” a number that’s all clear-eyed harmonies, four-on-the-floor rhythms, and chiming choruses. It’s as straightforward and charming as Diaries’ “Lannoy Point” was cosmically languid or This Is Not A Safe Place’s “R.I.D.E.” was indulgently throbbing. It is, in other words, an inarguable statement of intent that sets the tone for the album that follows while clearly delineating it from what came before. Thus, Interplay is Ride’s latest adventure into open-chord pop songs, but with a decidedly modern production approach.

There’s plenty of electronic augmentation throughout many of the tracks, whether it’s a pulsating undercurrent on the Jesus and Mary Chain-evoking “Midnight Rider” or the drum machine that undergirds the gleeful sophisto-pop of “Monaco.” Those touches, combined with the pop-forward approach of many of the tunes makes some of the material feel less like shoegaze and more like new wave. Still, there are plenty of atmospheric, dynamic numbers here, and “I Came to See the Wreck” and “Sunrise Chaser” are both prime new entrants into Ride’s catalog of dense soundscapes. Weirdly, the number that sticks out like a sore thumb is the wonderful-sounding, but horribly titled “Portland Rocks,” which evokes prime Going Blank Again-era bombast with soaring choruses, ringing guitar lines, and an oceanic production approach. It’s one of the few moments where Ride explicitly seems to be looking backwards, but it’s also the one where they seem the most complacent. It may bring back fond memories for some, but it’s clear that the band is much more interested in moving their sound forward. – Jason Ferguson


1-1. Ride – Peace Sign (04:38)
1-2. Ride – Last Frontier (04:09)
1-3. Ride – Light in a Quiet Room (06:02)
1-4. Ride – Monaco (04:15)
1-5. Ride – I Came to See the Wreck (05:57)
1-6. Ride – Stay Free (05:00)
1-7. Ride – Last Night I Went Somewhere to Dream (04:13)
1-8. Ride – Sunrise Chaser (04:18)
1-9. Ride – Midnight Rider (04:23)
1-10. Ride – Portland Rocks (05:02)
1-11. Ride – Essaouira (07:10)
1-12. Ride – Yesterday is Just a Song (03:34)

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