With 90s alt-rock and grunge seemingly having its 'time in the sun' again at the moment (30 years since 'Nevermind' etc, etc), the time is certainly right for Nottingham band Just A Ride to release their debut self-titled album. Made up of three veterans of the UK rock scene of the last 20 years or so, Just A Ride channel influences from the likes of Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and (to these ears anyway) Live into their hard hitting yet melodic sound - and to brilliant effect. 'Just A Ride' is an exciting, punchy album with hooks aplenty and the sort of accomplished singing and playing that can only come from having 'been around the block' a bit.
Pretty much every song on the album has a riff that kick-starts songs with a power and intensity that carries on throughout the song's duration (check out 'I Wanna Know' and 'Fallen') while choruses creep up on you before lodging in your brain and staying there for days - 'Who You Are', 'Razor' and 'No Way Out' are classic examples of this but really pretty much every song comes with a melody that is memorable. As can be expected, the playing is uniformly excellent - Alex Bailey's powerful drumming sets up a solid rocksteady foundation for Drew Lowe's varied and forceful guitar playing that alternates between intense riffing and liquid soloing. And above the band's tight sound is the tuneful and muscular vocals of Rod Henderson bringing a soulful edge to the power-charged songs. After ten tracks of pulsating, hooky, alt-rock it's left to the 'epic' closer 'Release Me' with its softly shimmering beginning and sultry verses setting up soaring choruses to bring the album to a great conclusion.
'Just A Ride' is a fine opening shot across the bows of the healthy UK rock scene from a band that knows how to write a tune and produce a rich record with aplomb. With gigs lined-up for 2022, Just A Ride should establish themselves as an important outfit out there and this album should be just the beginning of many fine moments to come.
'Just A Ride' is released on February 25th 2022 and will be available on all the major digital sites. You can also pre-order the album from the band's official merchandise store :-