While many Ride "purists" reject this album as an Andy Bell solo album, it remains a very strong album and one of my favorite Ride albums. For those that enjoy classic rock, played by a blindingly good band, this is a good album to check out.
The album opens with the blistering "Black Nite Crash", which sounds like "Raw Power-era" Stooges with better vocals and production! BNC is undoubtedly one of the best lyrics Andy Bell ever penned. To a hyped-up beat he sings..."Walk around like I'm lookin' for an upgrade/Slippin' through town like a penny in the arcade." It's a pity that Ride didn't recognize that their music could *grow* in this direction. Tarantula should have been a new launching pad, not a swan song.
"Sunshine/Nowhere To Run" is another standout track which shows a band finding maturity in restraint. Years earlier, Ride would have overdone such a pretty song with elaborate production. Here, the success lies in the understatement. Other standouts include the Byrdsy "Walk On Water", "Castle On The Hill", "Dead Man" and "Burnin'". All of these songs demonstrate that by 1995, Ride had become a band capable of much more than guitar noise. Unfortunately, critics and many fans ripped Tarantula, disappointed that Ride had not gone back to the early wall-of-sound guitars that were the hallmark of Nowhere and Going Blank Again.
As Ride releases their career-retrospective box set, it is worth noting that the band is more popular now than during their active years. Perhaps the time is right for a new Ride, one where the band can build on the strengths of this album.