I welcome the shoegaze renaissance. It’s a genre which offers dreamy sonic horizons if executed well. As with most sub-genres, shoegaze has to be carefully balanced in order to remain coherent and engaging. While Slowdive’s return offered little more than nostalgic ephemera, it highlighted we’re living in an age where even the old “greats” can be easily shrugged aside. Can Ride offer something more tethered to Earth with Weather Diaries; their first album in over 20 years?
First impressions suggest an up-to-date approach to the genre. ‘Lannoy Point’ is bright and spacious with a steady rhythm that grounds the piece to solid foundations. But rather than getting lost in the serenity of their surroundings they delve into their prog-rock locker on ‘Charm Assault’. The reverb-soaked verses are joined by a delightful chorus of distorted chords.
It has its moments but Weather Diaries ultimately lacks the vital hooks and memorable verses which prompt listeners to come back for more.
However, too often they struggle to translate their monumental live sound into album coherence. The likes of ‘Home Is A Feeling’ and ‘Cali’ will take on new life in the live arena but here they are largely forgettable. ‘Rocket Silver Symphony’ does a better job of trying to break the mould of style over substance, offering a more satisfying rock rhythm and crescendo. But these moments are few and far between.
By the time the album is reaching its finale I feel I’ve had enough of the world it creates. It’s all a bit long-winded and ‘Impermanence’ and ‘White Sands’ prove so insipid that they become the final nail in the coffin. It has its moments but Weather Diaries ultimately lacks the vital hooks and memorable verses which prompt listeners to come back for more. Ride feel stuck in the past, creating a record which attempts to celebrate their 90s attraction while failing to keep up with the trends of today.
By Will Hunt
Detached from classic shoegaze
Too few hooks to keep one interested
Brief moments of satisfactory alt-rock
|1. Lannoy Point|
|2. Charm Assault|
|3. All I Want|
|4. Home Is A Feeling|
|5. Weather Diaries|
|6. Rocket Silver Symphony|
|7. Lateral Alice|
|9. Integration Tape|
|11. White Sands|