and now, more hits from the ninth grade
: "Polar Bear"Ride
: "Vapour Trail"Ride
Elizabeth Carrington used Ride
's song "Decay"
as the soundtrack to the first project we had to make in video productions our freshman year of high school. The song feels pretty goofball fourteen years later, but back then I thought it sounded amazing, like the world was about to end, but with some melody. Shortly thereafter I picked up their album Nowhere
, and learned it had a few songs that were dramatically better than "Decay". "Polar Bear"
made me feel like I was slowly drifting into a yawning chasm of pleasant distortion and indifferent harmonization. Along with "Blue Jay Way", "Heroin", and two or three minutes of a Spacemen 3 song I heard after accidentally tuning in to WRAS
when I was twelve, "Polar Bear" was one of the first songs to make me think that maybe listening to or making music while on drugs could potentially be a good idea. As much as I dig "Polar Bear", though, "Vapour Trail"
has always been Nowhere
's undisputed highlight. It's a gorgeous song, with the string section nicely complementing Ride's reliably awkward singing and slightly psychedelic guitar sound. It's ridiculous that one of the primary song-writers from this band has to resort to playing third fiddle in Oasis.Nowhere
was the only Ride album I ever owned. I loved "Twisterella"
when it came out, but never had a copy of it until college, when I taped it off of Crog or Sean. It's more straight-forward guitar pop than anything off Nowhere
, sort of like Grand Prix
-era Teenage Fanclub, but it's still a fantastic tune, that sounds as good in a Gap today as it did on 120 Minutes back in '92.