Just weeks after Slowdive’s revitalising comeback, another shoegaze heavyweight returns. It could be Christmas for fans, or an obvious comparison of quality, nervously awaited. The genre has always been one with a nostalgia streak, its bright, bleeding guitars capturing a moment as ephemeral and visceral in the same guitar stroke, like old film footage both overexposed and faded with time. New faces have looked to ‘Nowhere’ and ‘Going Blank Again’ not just for that sound, but for a lesson in songcraft. A wide-eyed approach to sound design meant that an unexpected turn in a melody felt gargantuan. It was too elegant to be off-the-cuff, but wrapped up in Mark Gardner’s rough, boyish vocal, the emotions felt tangible and everyday.
‘Weather Diaries’ stays true to the band’s textured presentation and time-worn melodies, but it also smooths over some of the edges that could have made it essential. Comforting is not the descriptor you want from the homecoming of a great band like Ride, but that’s what we get from these familiar jams.