Back in the 90s (actually in the 80s) a movement began. It was a fantastic time of layers, effects, art and amazing guitar. When bands didn’t have cliched gender lines during a time when contemporary rock was heavily dominated by testosterone fueled guitar riffage. What I’m talking about is shoegaze. At the time, there wasn’t a label for these bands, even during a time when labels were thrown out almost instantly (ie: grunge). I guess, people would just lump all of them together as ‘alternative’. It wasn’t until years later that the term ‘shoegaze’ came about, and frankly, is pretty accurate.
I personally like that term. Musicians looking down at their pedals, focusing on the complex sounds, and not worrying about hamming it up for the camera or working on choreographed kicks on stage. Just getting lost in the swirl, and as a person just learning guitar, I ate every bit of it up.
Around 1991, I first listened to Ride. Ride was/is a brilliant band from Oxford, England. They had that catchy ‘pop’ appeal with strong vocal melodies and that guitar sound that would draw you in.. and spin you around. I never heard of a band like that before, and I was sold. I’ve been interested in bands from Manchester (Joy Division, Stone Roses, etc) and at the time, there were a bunch of bands from the UK making great music, but stuck in the shadows of the grunge-days.
I did a break down for Mark Gardener and Andy Bell a little while back (check out the post here). I did a full breakdown of pedals on that post, but I was especially excited to see this great video by Reverb.com talking with Ride.. and talking about gear. Check it out:
It was cool to see some chatter and hearing about the remix of Vapour Trail (one of my favorite Ride songs off of Nowhere). This track was remixed by one of my guitar heroes – Robert Smith of the Cure! You can check out this remix here.
If you were into Ride, let me know by commenting below!