by Scott Herren USER (42 Reviews)
August 13th, 2005 | 337 replies

Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Ride - Nowhere

Stephen Queralt
Loz Colbert
Andy Bell
Mark Gardner

The term shoegazer is synonymous with My Bloody Valentine, and even more specifically with the album Isn’t Anything and their powerful follow-up Loveless. If one had to name the next thing that comes to mind when hearing the word shoegazer it would probably be Slowdive’s Souvlaki. The albums Loveless and Souvlaki are usually considered the two-headed monster within the genre. There is, however, a third album, released a full year before Loveless and 3 years before Souvlaki, that arguably holds a claim to the first truly great shoegazer album. Imagine a less abrasive and more laid back Loveless, and you have Ride’s Nowhere.

The album begins with “Seagull”, using a distorted guitar and funky bass line that is suddenly met by a wall of swirling guitars. British vocals come in after a little while singing soft and dreamy. The song is driving and reaches an incredible and loud climax about 3 minutes in as there is a powerful guitar solo. This is one of the better and more dynamic songs on the album, and is 6 minutes of bliss. “Kaleidoscope” begins with a delightful fast paced distorted guitar which is joined by frantic drumming. The vocals have a really interesting pacing to them as well. This is a very solid song.

“In a Different Place” begins with a gorgeous guitar part and a simple drum beat. The part is played repeatedly for the first minute or so until the crooning vocals come in to dominate the song and the guitar part is pushed to the background for the moment. This song is a break from the harder and more distorted stuff of the first two songs. This is a real radio friendly song and a good one to start the first time Ride listener with. It has been among my favorite songs for a while. It leads into “Polar Bear” which has a trembling distorted guitar that takes the listener into a dream land. The British vocals come in and are pretty nice, but the real gem in this song is the guitar parts. All in all it is another beauty.

“Dreams Burn Down” keeps the string of beautiful crooning vocals juxtaposed with heavily distorted guitar going. Drums pace the song, but a wall of sound created by the guitars swirls the song along nicely. Forgive me for using the words swirl, dreamy, distorted, wall of sound, etc, but that is what the album is all about. Anyway, back to the song, there are several enormous climaxes in the song where the vocals cut out and the guitars just go nuts and it is amazing stuff, but for the most part they are just pretty guitar pieces. This is a really great song which rotates among my favorite on the album. “Decay” is one of the low points on the album. It gets the distorted guitar part down, but the guitars aren’t catchy and the vocals aren’t as good as other songs on the album.

“Paralysed” gets back to the long beautiful guitar intros, and does it with much success. By the time the vocals come about a minute in, the song has me captivated. The vocals really work well along side the pretty guitar and the result is a nice song leading up to the song the band is known for. “Vapour Trail” was the first Ride song I heard and it was so great that I ended up buying the album immediately after. This is sort of a love song. “First you look so strong. Then you fade away. The sun will blind my eyes. I’ll love you anyway.” The vocals are so damn amazing and the dreaminess of the instruments transports me to another world. This is another obvious highlight on the album and is the song that is sure to get you hooked on Ride.

The song directly after “Vapour Trail”, “Taste” has no shot to keep up the beauty, so instead it returns to the driving style song from the beginning of the album and a long intro. A minute in the vocals come in. They are pretty nice. This is one of the shorter songs with just a couple verses and choruses and then it is over, but it is a pretty solid feel good song. “Here and Now” begins with echoed guitars and what sounds like a distant accordion accompanied by some simple drumming. The songs vocals enter in a minor key, and the song continues on with bright instrumentation and darker sounding vocals. They mesh rather well, creating another wonderful song. “Nowhere” starts off extremely strange with some buzzing noises and swirling distortion. This is one of the more experimental songs on the album almost with a spacey dreamlike and sad country style song all blended into one. This isn’t the greatest of album closers, but it sure does push the boundaries of what music can be and lays the final touches on an album that has cemented itself as one of the top albums in the genre.

This is an album for fans of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive and other shoegazer in general. This isn’t an album for everyone, although there are several songs that everyone can enjoy. It is an album that I listen to frequently and has grown into one of my favorites and perhaps the first truly great shoegazer album.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
August 14th 2005


Great review. Ride are amazing. My favourite shoegaze band along with MBV and Chapterhouse. These guys came from the same place as Radiohead.

August 14th 2005


I've only heard Vapour Trail and it is amazing.
I will have to check out the rest of the album.

November 8th 2005


Great album, their later stuff seems of often get ignored though. Some one should do a review on "Going Blank Again" or "Carnival of Light".

April 8th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

I just saw the music video for 'taste', I gotta check this out, nice review.

May 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

This album is brilliant, it's much better then anything that My Bloody Valentine put out. Seagull, Polar Bears and the fan favorite Vapor Trail are the songs that I enjoy the most.

May 18th 2006



June 9th 2006


I love this album, the song Polar Bears is WICKED!! and Vapour Trail is one of my favs.

La Revolucion
June 17th 2006


This is really, really good.

June 18th 2006


[quote=Review]Imagine a less abrasive and more laid back Loveless, and you have Ride’s Nowhere[/quote] Uh, Loveless is way more laidback than this. This album definately does more rocking.

June 27th 2006


Plan to buy this album soon. Hope it's good.This Message Edited On 06.30.06

January 6th 2007


Seagull is Taxman.

Two-Headed Boy
March 17th 2007


From Paralysed on, this is a flawless album.

Big Baby Jesus
October 19th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

This album is just almost impossible not to like. It may not be the best album in the genre, but to me, it's definitely the most accessible, and sometimes that means just as much.

Electric City
November 22nd 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Taste is amazing, just youtubed it. I have to get this.

February 8th 2008


I didn't like this when I first listened to. It never made any impression on me at all but going back now it's a really good album.

Electric City
February 8th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

I think I'm where you were back then. All I listen to nowadays is Seagull.

February 8th 2008


Well, you catch up and start loving this work of art!

Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2009


this sounds cool but hilarious is i was scrolling down and saw the bandmember list and saw

Stephen Queralt
Loz Colbert

and read it as stephen colbert it was pretty weird cool story bro

September 18th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

How mesmerising is Seagull. Tunes like Polar Bear and Kaleidoscope have a great dreamlike quality to them. Love this disc.

August 3rd 2010


This is really awesome

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