Review: Shoegaze Rockers Ride Examine A Changing World On New Album 'This Is Not A Safe Place'

Ride are in fine form with their second post-reunion album.
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90’s shoegaze rockers Ride were one of the seminal bands of the era alongside others like Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins. They put out four albums in quick succession from 1990 to 1996, cementing their place in hearts of many during the 1990s. They called it quits shortly before Tarantula 1996 release as band relationships began to fracture. Fast forward almost two decades, the band announced a reunion in 2014 and released their album Weather Diaries in 2017. Keeping the momentum, they have followed it up with a new album out today titled This Is Not A Safe Place.

They post-reunion music has been more introspective as they reflect on their music and place in society. This Is Not A Safe Place plays on those themes as they try and understand where they went wrong and examine how society has drastically changed around them.

That is so obviously found on the album’s seventh track “15 Minutes,” which pokes fun at those who seek viral fame at any cost.

“This was your fifteen minutes / Hope you had fun now / Have a nice life, yeah / You're basically done now,” they almost taunt those who live life for fleeting moments of fame.

Keeping up the slightly old man routine, they dial up some talk of the internet and how it has rattled them. “Life has me rattled, I have lost my soul,” they sing in the chorus for "Dial Up," while noting in the first verse that it is all fleeting and meaningless, “Feeling is all I crave / Got a ticket for an exhibition / If I wanna distract my brain / But that's really no solution / For a love so far that it feels like pain.”

They also look back at their legacy on “End Game,” trying to understand where things went so wrong for them in the past. “Looking back when I try to remember, I thought that we had something,” notes the group with regret, but also acceptance. “But you are looking at a different picture,” they tell each other and the world about the band.

The group evolves sonically, but still remains in their wheelhouse. There are the fuzzy amps and reverbed guitar with hazy vocals on top, however they do get into some heavy electric guitars on “Kill Switch” or the soft strum of acoustic on “Dial Up.”

The group can be a bit melancholic in their examination of the world, but they are still having fun with it all. Reunion music can be boring, drab and a clear money grab. These guys prove that the time away may have been good for everyone. 

Stream the album below and pick up a copy in physical, digital and streaming here.

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