Released in 1984 the Ryders first album was a shining beacon in what became known as the 'Paisley Underground' - retro 60's sounding bands with a Punk underbelly (see also Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade & Green On Red). Eschewing their contemporaries more psych/blues leanings the Ryders were fond of the wide open sound of classic Americana which they delivered with chiming Rickenbacker guitars recalling the Byrds and with a distinct country based influence. But that didn't mean the Ryders couldn't deliver punchy fast paced alt-rock with a satirical bite, far from it, and on the superb '83 release 10-5-60 EP included here their stripped down sound recalls the classic 'garage' sound of the Standells and Seeds at their finest. For 'Native Sons' though the Ryders embraced a more eclectic vision of Americana using mandolins, banjos, and steal guitars to colour their sublime tales of the fading glories of the American Dream that harks back to the influence of The Band and Gram Parsons. But it's the nod towards Dylan's classic "wild mercury" sound of 'Highway 61 Revisited' that emerges through all the layers of gorgeous Byrdsian guitars that really lends weight to the Ryders music - opener 'Final Wild Son' evokes 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'. Like Dylan the Ryders seldom ignored the political world around them with sharp lyrics about "Afghanistan, the Russians and even Vietnam", "abortion, mob extortion and also neutron bombs" on the superb 'Never Got To Meet The Mom'. But it's with their wild tales of whiskey drinking debauchery, love lost ennui, train wrecks and yearnings to leave small town life behind that the Ryders really score in evoking that Springsteen Heartland but with the ragged glories of Neil Young.
Criminally underrated the Ryders conjured sweet, chiming melancholy with dark angst ridden rock and were every bit as important to the burgeoning American alt-rock scene of the early 80's that spawned The Replacements, Husker Du, R.E.M., Black Flag etc... This is their finest studio offering and well worth checking out if you love The Byrds, R.E.M., Buffalo Springfield, Tom Petty or the classic Americana of Dylan & The Band. Then check out the Ryders 'Three Minute Warnings' live in NYC to hear how incendiary they were live.