Interplay by Ride album review by Ethan Rebalkin for Northern Transmissions




Today, Ride releases their new studio album Interplay via Wichita Recordings / PIAS. It marks the third album since reforming in 2014 and is a 12-track LP drenched in dream-pop, shoegaze, and brit-pop elements. They’ll be taking the album to the road, first in North America this May before heading across the pond for a Uk and Irish leg starting in September

Interplay kicks off with the very upbeat “Peace Sign,” an optimistic, pop-forward ripper of a tune. A driving drum rhythm leads the way, with sprawling synth-pads and echo-ladden guitars covering the rest of the sonic landscape. A chorus of lush vocal harmonies harken back to 60s pop-pioneers The Beach Boys, The Beatles or CSNY, but with the dreamy production of modern-shoegaze. “Last Frontier” is the second track on Interplay and immediately draws you in with intriguing modular-synths then a The Cure-esque guitar lead. Already, I’m noticing a very pop-forward approach to Interplay, and I’m all for it! All the melody’s are irresistibly catchy.

Acoustic guitar and vibrato-drenched synths sprawl across the beginning of “Light in a Quiet Room.” A 6-minute psych-rock ballad that keeps you guessing the whole way through. I’m reminded of the psychedelic pop-experimentation of Revolver-era Beatles, with the blown out guitar ending of a song you’d hear on Blonder Tongue Audio Baton by The Swirles. Sparkly Johnny Marr-inspired arpeggiated guitars and anthemic vocal melodies blast you off on “I Came to See the Wreck” before “Stay Free” brings you right back down to earth. “Stay gold / Stay away from the darkness” Andy Bell preaches while a fuzzed-out guitar lead peaks up and down just below the surface.

“Last Night I Went Somewhere to Dream” has the pop-approachability of an early-2000’s U2 single with the signature swells and washes of guitar and synths that made Ride a staple in the shoegaze zeitgeist. With a bassline and synth-tone that reminds me of Bowery Electric or Cocteau Twins, ”Midnight Rider” delivers another straight ahead groover for the B-side of Interplay.

Ride takes you on a 7-minute long trip through time and space on “Essaouira,” second last track on Interplay, and easily the most spacious, meditative and epic. “More, Information / No soul will be left alone,” Ride sings. One could interpret this tension Ride is sharing on “Essaouira” as a frustration with the over-saturation of information available to us and the overwhelming nature of our modern world. Feeling drowned in the negativity that can be found right at your fingertips while simultaneously feeling hopeless to fight it. Ride continues to fight the good fight on Interplay and provide another welcome addition to the shoegaze canon.

order Interplay by Ride HERE


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