Saturday, August 3, 2019
The band’s next album is This is Not a Safe Place, so I think it is fitting to remember what an incredible sophomore album GBA really is. In terms of second records, it’s one of the best there ever was.
Those big moments, though, are defined by the more concise ones around them. The taut ringing of acoustic guitars on “Chrome Waves” or the lean psych-pop of “Making Judy Smile” or the angular riffage of “Time Of Her Time” all let us hear a new side of Ride. It reminded us that Ride may have made pop built firmly for the dreamworld, but the group never forgot the very real rock muscle this sound could generate underneath all that atmosphere. Here, it’s that physicality that comes to the surface and makes Going Blank Again an album that doesn’t have to take up space to be staggering in its sound. Ride didn’t make the mistake of making one huge-sounding album (Nowhere) and trying to top it with more layers, with bigger distortion, with more muddled volume. Instead, Ride peeled things back most of the time on Going Blank Again, so when they did decide to swell into something more atmospheric, those huge moments were earned.
Definitely go for the expanded version of the album and see them playing live. And track down all of the B-sides, too. If there was ever a record that deserved an omnibus or expanded version, this is it.