08 March 2006

Overlooked Albums from the 90's - #22

Going Blank Again by Ride

Bless me father for I have sinned. It's been two days since my last confession. Ready? Here we go...this time, it's a bad one. I had never really listened to Ride at all until two months ago. Shoegazers were very boring to me when that style of music was in its heyday. I had my ears way too far up Morrissey and Marr's collective recordings to be listening to My Bloody Valentine or Ride. When I was searching for something new in the early 90's I tended more towards Suede and James or any of the other bands I tried to think of as 'the next Smiths'. Or, of course, I was listening to Nirvana and everything else 120 minutes told me to check out. In fact, I didn't listen to Loveless until 1998 (or so) and I still don't think it's anywhere near the top 25 albums put out in the 90's. There, I said it. Alternative/indie music blasphemy - hang me now. So imagine my surprise when I found myself liking THIS album. No, really LOVING it actually.

What happened was that I had hit a bump in the road. A bump in the road that is this whole 'EAR FARM's Overlooked Albums from the 90's' thing. I reached out and asked some friends for suggestions. "Any ideas for albums that are overlooked from the 90's?" I asked them. They'd inevitably respond by saying some album I've never heard of at all, or an album that I didn't feel was overlooked, OR one of the ones that I already have in mind for this feature. (Yes, I do have a list going...and who knows when the end of this feature will come, so no need in sending emails asking that anymore...but, as a result of this quality recommendation from a friend, I totally am into you guys sending me your thoughts on albums that could/should be considered for this feature...) Where was I? Right. Long story short, one of my friends suggested Going Blank Again as an album I should consider. I asked myself the essential questions: is it overlooked and is it a great album? Well, it had been overlooked by me, that's for sure. And after spending a few months listening to the album I can indeed say it's an amazing record that's often overlooked by people in favor of Ride's historically relevant Nowhere. I'm by no means an authority on the band, but I prefer Going Blank Again to Nowhere any day.

In reviewing OX4 - The Best of Ride Chris Ott from Pitchfork said:

With huge expectations leveled against them for their sophomore full-length, Ride holed up with Alan Moulder, recording 25 songs they'd use to construct Going Blank Again, a record of remarkable depth. In its unheralded variety, and its capacity to shatter the blurry, hazy caste to which critics had resigned them, Going Blank Again is in many ways Ride's finest hour. Leading with the vast, eight-minute anthem "Leave Them All Behind", Ride paid homage to a band whose support helped them in no small part: The Cure, arguably the biggest band in England in 1990. Aside from the unmistakable, tributary breakdown, "Leave Them All Behind" was a firestorm of psychedelic guitar, relegating My Bloody Valentine's gentle waves to the afterparty. Thankfully, OX4 includes the song in its entirety, rather than the atrocious edit dashed off for radio play. And speaking of radio play, there's no chance they'd forget "Twisterella", the stupefying, too-adorable second single from Going Blank Again. The term "jangle" has never been more appropriately leveled against a song; it reduces the disparate elements of twee and C86 into one glorious 3½-minute anthem, a sickeningly sweet, heavenly pop hit.
The three songs included here will give you a small idea of how fantastic this album is, and they are my three current favorites. "Not Fazed" is groovy guitar power-pop that fades out way too soon; but thankfully, "Mouse Trap" is there to continue on where it leaves off. These two songs have been on constant rotation as I commute to and from work each day. Then there's the gorgeous "Cool Your Boots" which has at least two or three nods to The Smiths, a sure way to catch my interest in a song. If you already love Ride, you know what I'm talking about. If you're like me and have spent the better part of 10+ years lying to people about liking My Bloody Valentine and Ride just to avoid any indie-rock hazing, your world's about to change for the better.

Listen:
  • "Not Fazed"
  • "Mouse Trap"
  • "Cool Your Boots"
Previous Overlooked Albums from the 90's:
#1 - Saturnalia by The Wedding Present
#2 - The Inevitable by Squirrel Nut Zippers
#3 - This is Our Music by Galaxie 500
#4 - Dusk by The The
#5 - Fantasma by Cornelius
#6 - New Wave by The Auteurs
#7 - I, Jonathan by Jonathan Richman
#8 - Futureworld by Trans Am
#9 - Harmacy by Sebadoh
#10 - Cure For Pain by Morphine
#11 - God Fodder by Ned's Atomic Dustbin
#12 - Seven by James
#13 - Why Do Birds Sing? by Violent Femmes
#14 - Blank-Wave Arcade by The Faint
#15 - Dog Man Star by Suede
#16 - Beatsongs by The Blue Aeroplanes
#17 - Don't Try This At Home by Billy Bragg
#18 - 1992: The Love Album by Carter USM
#19 - Time Was Gigantic...When We Were Kids by The Durutti Column
#20 - Psalm 69 by Ministry
#21 - The Dirtchamber Sessions, Vol. 1 by The Prodigy

if you'd like...
Pitchfork's top albums of the 90's
1st version of their list

Another site does their own "Overlooked of the 90's":
Top 30 'Other' Albums of the '90s

7 comments:

kikkokatty2433 said...

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Arod McFoolish said...

Thank god for you and Pitchfork. Thank god for the rock! Thank god for jams! Thank god for zoobas! Oh, overlooked albums... I see.

Anonymous said...

Aw man. Ride. I heard "Time Machine" on college radio and was absolutely hooked. Thick, textured layers, and a hint of a hook? Loved it.

howard said...

I loved Ride a long time. I'm not going to bother justifying my indie credentials by saying how long, but I thought I'd ask if you've heard the new secret machines record that sounds quite a lot like ride?

Mary said...

Apologies accepted. The opening song ("Leave Them All Behind") with drums and then the bass, and those guitars says everything.

Sean said...

I've been needing to check our Ride for ages as well. Thanks for the write up Matt.

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