By Alex Rice
Ride’s six full-lengths only tell half of the story. The intervening EPs paint between the lines to showcase some of the band’s greatest tunes.
Vision is the theme on the band’s inaugural release - “Drive Blind,” “All I Can See,” “Close My Eyes” - and opener “Chelsea Girl” remains one of Ride’s most enduring early numbers. “Eyes” gave Ride its name and Nowhere its title.
Released just three months after the first EP, Ride’s second release found the noisy youngsters growing more confident in their songwriting chops, particularly on “Like a Daydream.” Ride and Play are now jointly available as Smile.
Fall gave listeners a preview of what was to come on Nowhere, impressing fans and critics with the pristine melodies and beefed-up low end of “Taste” and “Here and Now” and the guitar heroics in the dystopian “Nowhere,” penned by Colbert.
Today Forever (1991)
A flawless four-song set. “Unfamiliar” surges on the back of an assertive bassline while “Sennen” ambles over shimmery guitars and the entrancing “Today” transforms from simple three-note riff to droning feedback over six glorious minutes.
Grasshopper combines both Going Blank Again singles and features four tracks that should’ve found their way onto the album. “Stampede” is a soaring rocker, while the titular 14-minute instrumental jam is a true aural journey.
Coming Up for Air (2002)
Ride returned in 2002 without saying a word. This 32-minute instrumental jam, recorded for a TV documentary, makes “Grasshopper” look like child’s play. Upon making this loud racket, they disappeared again, just as quietly as they came.
Tomorrow’s Shore (2018)
This stopgap EP comprises four outtakes from the Weather Diaries sessions. The endlessly-catchy “Pulsar” is aided by electronic flourishes, while the apocalyptic “Catch You Dreaming” recalls the lyrical themes of “Nowhere.”
Alex Rice is the founder of Bandbox. His writing has appeared in the Denver Post, Guitar World and Minneapolis's City Pages.