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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Sep 2019 > Ride THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE WICHITA


After the success of 2017’s Weather Diaries, Ride’s spectacular comeback continues with the band emboldened enough to embrace experimentation. John Earls takes it all in

You have to feel sorry for bands who get back together after decades apart, only for fans to get sniffy about the prospect of new material. Unless the comeback music is right first time, critics and the public tend to unite in assuming they should have stuck to the old classics. The Stone Roses’ second comeback single, Beautiful Thing, is much better than All For One; Head Carrier by Pixies is a big step-up from Indie Cindy. Yet in both cases, the damage was done and “Bog off, grandads!” was generally the unfair rejoinder.


1 R.I.D.E.

2 Future Love

3 Repetition

4 Kill Switch

5 Clouds Of Saint Marie

6 Eternal Recurrence

7 Fifteen Minutes

8 Jump Jet

9 Dial Up

10 End Game

11 Shadows Behind The Sun

12 In This Room

Ride at least got it right two years ago on Weather Diaries, their first album since 1996’s cursed Tarantula. Energetic, psychedelic, epic… it was what you’d hope Ride would sound like. They were helped because, having been openly in thrall to the greats, Ride was never specifically young people’s music in the first place. Which makes the follow-up an even more spectacular album.

Last month, in an interview, Ride told Long Live Vinyl how important 2018’s EP Tomorrow’s Shore was in helping the band become experimental again. That shouldn’t be overlooked, because This Is Not A Safe Place is best when it sounds nothing like Ride. That’s not to dismiss their past: if you want epic psychedelia, Ride have made four great albums and a not-so-great one stuffed with it. What they hadn’t done was make music reflecting the breadth of their own record collections. From the opening rave monster R.I.D.E. onwards, they do exactly that here. A monstrous whoosh, like a krautrock take on a Tardis dematerialising, R.I.D.E. alerts listeners to set aside preconceptions. You may well be familiar with the Repetition single by now, another club-influenced banger, only this time with a foot in the pop camp, too, thanks to a stellar chorus.

They’re hugely good fun and a new element to Ride’s sound – but they’re still overshadowed by Kill Switch. Already a live favourite, Kill Switch is Ride baring their fangs like never before. It’s furious, it’s not to be messed with, it might just be the best song Ride have ever made. Of course, there are moments of familiarity. Clouds Of Saint Marie and End Game do the Ride thing excellently and Jump Jet is fabulous woozy pop. But, even when nominally in a comfort zone, don’t take Ride for granted. The elegant ballad Dial Up is offset by hazily distorted samples of voicemail messages and a burst of a dial-up modem tone at the end.

On the unsettling nine-minute finale In This Room, Andy Bell sings: “This is not a safe place to be – you didn’t think it was” with exquisite leather-gloved menace. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. This right here is why bands should reform: just sometimes, experience and the realisation of what they lost first time round make them better than ever.

Opening rave monster R.I.D.E. sounds like a krautrock take on a Tardis dematerialisng
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About Long Live Vinyl

It's Just Rock 'N' Roll! Issue 30 of Long Live Vinyl celebrates the 25th anniversary of Oasis' stellar debut album, Definitely Maybe. Our exclusive collector's covers, shot by Oasis photographer Michael Spencer Jones, allow you to choose between Noel and Liam editions – or buy both! Inside, some of the band's closest allies talk us through the making of an album that sold 7 million copies and changed the face of British guitar music. In our packed interviews section, we sit down with Black Francis to hear why new Pixies album Beneath The Eyrie is among the best records they've ever made, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard take a rare break from recording to talk us through their new LP, Infest The Rats' Nest. Elsewhere, we meet one of the hottest new bands of 2019, WH Lung, and the founders of Sub Pop, the Seattle label that put grunge on the map. You'll also find an in-depth look at Talking Heads' 1979 classic Fear Of Music as well as 40 Essential Dream Pop albums to add to your collection. If all that's not enough, we bring you the most comprehensive range of new album, reissue, turntable and hi-fi reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers. Pick up your copy today…