Label: Universal-Island Records Ltd.
In the months leading up to its release, lead singer Ryan Evan “Van” McCann boasted to just about any journalist who would listen that his band’s second album would easily top their critically lauded 2015 debut, The Balcony. Turns out he wasn’t lying. The Ride is quintessential Brit rock: a wealth of punchy and super tight songs with blistering guitars at every turn and loads of attitude. The album is programmed to overwhelm listeners right out the gate. The first three cuts, “7,” “Twice” and “Soundcheck,” are powder keg anthems packed with rock star arrogance, sexual frustration and youthful insecurity. When the band slips into a moody acoustic mode on “Glasgow” and “Heathrow,” the Bottlemen are mindful to maintain their ironfisted grip of your attention. Not surprisingly, McCann is the star of the show. From beginning to end, the frontman unleashes a litany of sneers, slurs and whines that place him right alongside his heroes Julian Casablancas and Noel Gallagher.