Ride: Andy Bell (vocals, guitar); Mark Gardener (guitar, background vocals); Stephen Queralt (bass); Laurence Colbert (drums).
Producers include: Ride, Alan Moulder, John Leckie.
Recorded between 1990 & 1996.
While many of the British shoegazer bands of the early 1990s adopted Phil Spector's "wall of sound" approach, none ever quite managed to couple tornado-like guitars with such astonishingly delicate melodies as Oxford, England's Ride. Channeling a '60s pop sensibility through heavy distortion, they were the sonic equivalent of a raging sandstorm seen through a filigree window.
This best-of collection cherry-picks from the band's four studio albums and numerous singles, including "Chelsea Girl," an early example of the quartet's compressed energy and blind enthusiasm packed into an outstanding three-minute pop song. Diving into longer song structures, the band builds "Dreams Burn Down" on a foundation of roiling feedback through which Andy Bell's guitar breaks like shafts of light, while "Vapour Trail," features a string section that enhances the song's already-expansive sound. This compilation's centerpiece is the magnificent "Leave Them All Behind," an eight-minute epic with angelic, harmonized vocals that soar above a sea of swooping guitars and frenetic, crashing drums. Both an ideal introduction to the band and a reminder of a shining moment of pop brilliance, OX4 is an essential document of rock music played for the sheer joy of making a glorious, infernal racket.