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Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Another Psychedelic Rock Gem from Mexican Summer
Mexican Summer is quickly becoming one of my new favorite record labels. Before they'd changed their name from Kemado Records, I loved them as the label that signed the Sword, whom I love, but Mexican Summer has some pretty amazing psychedelic rock albums that have truly blown my mind. One of those albums is the Black Ryder's "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride," which should be on the shelf of any self-respecting psych-rock fan's record collection.
I first heard about the band through the Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe's Twitter feed. The band has been on the bill for Austin Psych Fest several years in a row, and I've grown into a rather big BJM fan over the last couple years. Finally, I decided to give the band a shot and ordered the album from Mexican Summer's website. To say I've been wholly and completely satisfied with my purchase is an understatement to say the least.
If you're a fan of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the BJM, or the Jesus and Mary Chain, you're certain to find something to love about the about the Black Ryder. To put it mildly, they sound like a female-fronted BJM, but there's more to it than that. There are elements of psychedelia, shoegaze, and dream pop that go so perfectly together that you can't help but get lost in each song. And so many of the songs are just dynamite that it's hard to pick a single favorite. "To Never Know You," "Let It Go," "Grass," and "Outside" kick off the album beautifully before it slows down with "Gone Without Feeling," "The Greatest Fall," and "What's Forsaken." "All That We See" is a very BJM-infused song and has a lot of that Eastern influence. "Sweet Come Down" has a very slow, quiet, almost country-esque vibe to it that's unlike any other song on the album. "Burn and Fade" describes itself perfectly: it start of rather slowly and quietly before building into something much bigger and heavier. Finally, "Rise" closes out the album on a gentler tone, building much like "Burn and Fade" without exploding the way the previous song does.
All in all, if you're curious about this band, indulge yourself. Buy the album, put it on, and relax as the music pours over you. If it doesn't relax you and put you in a different frame of mind, I don't know what will!