domenica 19 dicembre 2010

Ride "Tarantula"

Praticamente un disco solista di Andy Bell questo ultimo lavoro dei Ride, che ci mostra un suono decisamente troppo invischiato con suoni anni 70.
Non che sia un lavoro così disastroso e disastrato, certo manca vitalità e melodie memorabili, quello si.
Scorre via piuttosto anonimo. Ahimè. (1996 Creation)

In the wake of the band's split, the new Ride album will no doubt show signs of the strain that must have been evident to the members long before they actually called it quits.
Unfortunately, rather than a brilliant nova to signify the band's implosion, Tarantula follows apathetically in the footsteps of the largely ignored Carnival of Light.
The lead single, "Black Nite Crash," sees Ride imitating Primal Scream imitating the Rolling Stones.
Andy Bell sings about a "rattlesnake handshake" and the like, lyrics that smack of the most contrived rockisms. The track "Sunshine/Nowhere to Run" borrows bongos from Primal Scream's "Loaded," which were in turn taken from the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." "Deep Inside My Pocket" adds a melodramatic spoken-word passage to organ tones and guitar solos that recall the Black Crowes.
Compared to the time when Ride virtually single-handedly defined the edge of new British music, the latest album represents a great disappointment: from such heights of creativity on albums like Smile, Nowhere, and Going Blank Again to the depths of imitating other bands, and bands who are themselves so derivitive.
Some songs work. "Dawn Patrol" successfully juxtaposes trademark Ride vocal harmonies with a hint of 70s funk derived from the syncopation and organ.
This track also hints at Ride's glory period: all the musicians are clearly represented and display nearly unsurpassed dexterity.
This is particularly true of the drums, hyperactive and creative but somehow not overdone or intrusive. "Starlight Motel" is a nice loping ballad with 12-string and the country-ish trappings of an accordian and a mandolin.
The problem with this album makes the break-up of Ride entirely understandable. Mark Gardner, whose vocals and sensibilities defined the first three Ride records, is almost completely absent from this one.
As the band has more and more become Andy Bell's, his sensibilities have proven rather unsavory, leaning with complete sincerity towards cheesy 70s rock and lacking the irony or flair of other bands who successfully tap into the energy and muscle of 70s rock.
The most sophomoric teenage metal band couldn't make up better titles for songs than Bell: "Burnin'," "Ride the Wind," etc. Unfortunately for him, the audience that Ride has gathered together over the years is looking for something different: something less American, something less contrived, something less corny, something less crap.
People who became Ride fans before the last record will have to wait for Mark Gardner's next project to get any notion of how Ride's fascinating early music will resolve itself; as more or less an Andy Bell solo project, the band on Tarantula bears very little resemblance to Ride. (

- Black Nite Crash
- Sunshine/Nowhere to Run
- Dead Man
- Walk on Water
- Deep Inside My Pocket
- Mary Anne
- Castle on the Hill
- Gonna Be Alright
- The Dawn Patrol
- Ride the Wind
- Burnin'
- Starlight Motel


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