FLYING HIGH Boston rock quartet Guillermo Sexo kicks off the Nofuckingwhere compilation with their
spin on Ride's classic track "Seagull."
Out of all the bands that toed the line between shoegaze and Britpop at the dawn of the '90s, perhaps none have been more overlooked than Ride. Sure, there are those in the know who consider the airy and resplendent "Vapour Trail" — off the Oxford, UK, quartet's debut 1990 full-length Nowhere — to be one of the greatest songs, well, ever. But there are plenty of folks out there whose exposure to shoegaze starts and stops with My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. Jay Breitling, of the excellent Clicky Clicky music blog, has decided to change that, putting together a compilation featuring 11 Boston bands putting their very own spin on that fantastic Ride entrée, from start to finish, and dubbing it Nofuckingwhere.
"In some small way I guess I felt like I was righting a wrong," Breitling says of the comp, available for free download this week via Clicky Clicky. "I felt like Ride wasn't getting their due in the discussions I was hearing or reading every day. In the sort of shorthand among musicians and bloggers, Ride's name wasn't coming up. You'd hear a lot of Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth, as always. But few, if any, were talking about Ride, even though I felt like you could hear the band's impact in a lot of Boston music right now."
When Endless Wave delivered a stunning set of Ride material at the Pill's annual Halloween soirée in October, Breitling was already waist-deep in putting the whole Nofuckingwhere shebang together, with Guillermo Sexo, Soccer Mom, Slowdim, Young Adults, and the Hush Now among the local luminaries taking part in the ode. "I kept waiting for people to say no, but instead — with very few exceptions — everyone said yes," Breitling says. "And those who said 'yes' really went above and beyond to help make Nofuckingwhere happen."
And what of Ride, who called it a day in the mid-'90s? Most notably, guitarist Andy Bell linked up with the brothers Gallagher, and eventually took the side of Liam when the whole Oasis thing finally imploded; he now slings the axe for Beady Eye. Ride frontman Mark Gardener has fully immersed himself in the solo game while running the studio OX-4-Sound and collaborating with the likes of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The Phoenix caught up with him via telephone at his studio to check in and see what he thinks about all this enduring-legacy stuff.
"I'm partly surprised and kind of proud of it, I guess," Gardener says when informed of the Nofuckingwhere compilation. "It does seem to have a legacy, and sales continue. And it kind of grows, and more and more people seem to discover Ride as time goes on. You can never really know that at the time, but I think in the end, whatever is happening, you just hope that something you're doing does have the longevity of time about it. To be able to affect people's existence — that is the elixir of life for me — to move people in a positive manner."