Friday, April 3, 2015

Album Review: Ride - Smile

Smile is a compliation of Ride's first two EPs, Ride and Play, released in 1990.  For those used to Ride's albums this feels a lot more ramshackle and very sixties, particularly opener Chelsea Girl which is kind of like a crunchier Byrds.  This surging, rush of a track is followed by the swaggering riffing of Drive Blind, All I Can See and Close My Eyes, which have an almost psychedelic grungy guitar sound.  Some of Mark Gardener's vocals are endearingly ropey, but all of these are very fine tracks nonetheless.

It's very early nineties, Like A Daydream is a perfect example of that shoegazey/baggy sound that begat Britpop.  The one track that doesn't work as well as the rest is the plodding Silver, but it's obliterated by the thrilling guitar on Furthest Sense and Perfect Time where, unbeknownst to them, they were mining a similar heavy seam of psychedelia as the Screaming Trees.

As good as any of Ride's later material, this deserves investigation.