Slowdive brings cosmic bliss to Rams Head Live on Nov. 16, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)
In the early ’90s, shoegaze had an underground appeal that ended up becoming an influential blueprint for many bands being formed today. And for me, personally, songs by the Catherine Wheel, My Bloody Valentine, and Slowdive were the soundtrack to relationships, careers, and those ups and downs in life — peaks and valleys like the rhythmic washes of guitar or the lilt of those harmonies buried beneath.
And I still find myself going back to those same sounds, like an old book you’re drawn to again and again, as I did with Slovedive in a live performance at Rams Head Live on Thursday.
Mark Gardener of Ride performs at WFUV in New York City on Sept. 21, 2015. (Photo by Sabrina Sitton)
The past 25 years have been quite good to the band Ride.
Although the shoegazer quartet disappeared in 1996 after four full-length albums, they returned more powerful than ever with the launch of a new leg of their US reunion tour on Thursday with a very nearly sold-out show at the 9:30 Club.
Now, I’m a latecomer to shoegaze in general and Ride specifically so I can’t claim to know how good the band were in the past. I can tell you now that they are remarkably talented guitarsmiths today, however, and their earliest stuff in particular holds up incredibly well.
Classics like “Vapour Trail” from their first album Nowhere catch the band at their most pensive — four chords awash over the ears of the audience in gentle waves as lead guitarist Andy Bell sings reflectively of the memory of a love “like a vapour trail in a deep blue sky.”