The original plan was to be up early an a-spinning by 6:30am prior to going into work. However, when my alarm went off at 5:45am I was like “Fuck it. I have a headache” and went back to bed. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking with it. What this means however, is that I now have double duty at the gym this evening beginning with this 45 minute spin and then transitioning into the pool for my usual Wednesday evening swim workout. So my soundtrack then to kick start it all off is the ‘Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride‘ album by Aussie shoegazer’s The Black Ryder.
The Black Ryder is songwriting duo Aimee Nash and Scott Von Ryper, who originate from Sydney, Australia. ‘Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride‘ is their debut album released on the 6th of November, 2009 through their own label, The Anti-Machine Machine / EMI Music Australia. It was included in Rolling Stone Magazine (Australia) Best Albums of 2010, and they were also nominated for Best New Artist. In 2009, the band made their live debut in Australia opening for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, followed by subsequent Australian tours with Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Charlatans, and The Raveonettes. For my part, I stumbled across the band name on a Shoegazing fan page on Facebook and figured, ‘Hmm. Why not?’
Imagine a cross between the Jesus & Mary Chain and Mazzy Star. ‘Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride’ is chock full of collaborative talent, including Ricky Maymi of The Brian Jonestown Massacre on guitar and raagini, Peter Hayes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on vocals for ‘Burn and Fade‘ and harmonica on ‘Sweet Come Down‘, and Leah Shapiro of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on drums. Additional input came from Graham Bonnar (previously of Swervedriver) and Tim Powles of The Church.
Most of the album is a densely textured, highly melodic sonic trip of distorted and droning guitars (and other instruments) and layered, half-buried vocals that create an enveloping, hypnotic atmosphere of dream-rock drones. A handful of cuts are sparer and fall into the stark, noir-alt country style. The album is a winner from start to finish with the aural peaks a la Curve being the wall-of-sound stunner ‘Let It Go‘, the My Bloody Valentine-esque ‘Gone Without Feeling‘, the neo-psychedelic ‘What is Forsaken‘, and the spare, but spellbinding ‘Sweet Come Down‘.
In totality, it creates a rather cool ambiance while I’m sitting here, spinning and sweating my ass off, with more than enough people watching going on to keep me entertained. It seems that all the “New Years Resolutioner’s” are already in full swing, no doubt here to show off all the new fancy-dnacy Lululemon and UnderArmour bullshit that Santa brought them. Fortunately, they likely won’t be here in another month’s time and all that workout wear will be regulated to the back of their closets for the remainder of the year.