Monday, January 31, 2005

Choon(s) of the Week: Ride "Leave Them All Behind" / Whitey "Leave Them All Behind"

After a bit of a sabbatical, the Choons segment is back - and of course, since we are coming back, it has to be done properly (with a blaugh!). We got two tracks - one name, two artists, and myriad money shots.
Before getting to the cuts, it needs to be said that a few things are going to change with this segment. The purpose is to find great songs, regardless of whether they are new or old, so expect to find a bit of both in the upcoming installments. OK - the tracks:

1) Ride - "Leave Them All Behind"

I first heard this about 4 months ago and my initial response was the embodiment of exactly why we are all a bunch of internet seekers: "holy shit, this song is what I am talking about!" Ride (from Oxford, UK - big ups to Jericho!) is the epitome of shoegazer rock (or "shoegahzer" as a co-worker of mine once said before he realized that the name of the genre was a description of what someone does when they listen to it) - bastard offpsring of My Bloody Valentine that drench their music in rich waves of guitar and keyboards. This song is for all the lovers of (The) Verve, Spiritualized (if you dig "These Blues"), Doves' first album, and every other band that has written echo-addled anthems.

"Leave Them All Behind" opens with a simple knockoff of a Who keyboard riff (nah nah nah nah) that erupts into a melodic maelstrom of guitars that might be intimidating if you didn't hear the sensitive and emotive vocals.

The song has several segments and takes it time and moving into and out of them - the band is swinging for the fences by writing such a dynamic song that clocks in at 8 minutes. By the end, it's all sonic cacophony, but it's been a beautiful, fist-pumping journey through the ethereal and the heavy.

I am a sucker for a good epic rock song and this is the Ben Hur of shoegazer rock.

2) Whitey - "Leave Them All Behind"

I can't figure out anything about this guy (or band) - come on Allmusic, get with the program. I saw the track on 2manydjs current chart and at first thought it might have something to do with the Ride song, so I checked it out. No relation, but in name (and therefore also presumably in the theme of escaping all of the proverbial chains that hold us back in life).

Makes a lot of sense that it's on 2manydjs chart - its sleazed out, stuttering electro-rock (much like the excellent 2manydj/Soulwax album, Any Minute Now). On the synth/guitar breakdown, it probably comes out to 75/25. There are several catchy hooks in there, which are essential for the electro-rock thing to be successful. It's got an electro-rock feel, but the song was written with the dancefloor in mind - a no-nonsense 4/4 beat and a classic breakdown in the middle.

Bands like X-Wife, Soulwax, and Whitey are having an 80s rock nostalgia party with very original stuff that never actually existed before, and it's damn good. It will play well in either a rock club or on a dancefloor.

Moral of the story: write a banger called "Leave Them All Behind" and you have an equal chance of success as you would if you named it "Come Together"


At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the keyboard that starts the Whitey track is the keyboard that starts the 8 minute Ride track, speeded way up.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Of course...

great call. So obvious yet just subtle enough to fool someone as thick-headed as me...

Thank you

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At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I have heard of Ride, "Leave Them All Behind" was their ne plus ultra; their career had built up to that song, and they had nothing thereafter that could match it. It's awesome, like a mountain, or monster trucks, or ninjas.

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