Shoegaze only had a short heyday, and only really in British and proto-hipster circles, but has had an extended legacy. While people might want to forget about the once-booms in swing music or the like, the beautiful, fuzzy guitars of shoegaze are primed for nostalgia. That’s why it was such a big deal when a shoegaze legend that you might never had heard of, Ride, reunited with 2017’s Weather Diaries (QRO review). Follow-up This Is Not a Safe Place goes even further.
First things first, yes, this is a shoegaze record – just look at the extended closer “In This Room”. But there is more, to boot. Place opens with the fuzzy hard rock push of “R.I.D.E.”. There’s indie-pop in “Future Love” and “Clouds of Saint Marie” one might have found on New Zealand’s Flying Nun Records in the nineties. The fuzzy jangle pop of “Fifteen Minutes” sounds like light Sonic Youth. The upbeat psychedelia of “Shadows Behind the Sun” brings to mind The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
So there is fuzz, and this is Ride, but they’re more than just repeating what worked for a few back when – rather doing more with it right now.