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The Black Ryder‘s second studio album ‘The Door Behind The Door’ is out this week via their own label The Anti-Machine Machine. The Australian duo (Aimée Nash & Scott Von Ryper) relocated to Los Angeles following their 2009 debut LP ‘Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride’ and in the process, have re-invented themselves for album number two. ‘Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride’ is considered a modern classic among shoegaze fans, but they also had their critics at the time. The diversity and depth of ‘The Door Behind The Door’ should change that this time round, there’s enough dark and hazy textures for existing fans, and plenty of lighter moments for new ones.

Lead single ‘Santaria’ is the perfect bridge between albums, it pays homage to their roots and introduces a country tinged underbelly that sits behind the album. The ‘Rhinestone Drone’ Soundcloud tag is fitting. ‘Santaria’ is also the most shoegaze sounding track on the album. The other singles ‘Let Me Be Your Light’ and ‘Seventh Moon’ are stunning dreamy psych numbers, its mesmerizing listening. The Black Ryder benefit from interchanging lead vocalists, Aimée nails the smoky dream pop sound while Scott finds his own voice on ‘The Going Up Was Worth The Coming Down’. It’s a turning point on the record, where the reverb heavy sound is stripped back to its essential parts, proof that The Black Ryder don’t need to hide song writing behind effects boards. ‘Throwing Stones’ is another one of these ‘light’ moments, with a gospel feel that reminded me of Spiritualized’s ‘Let It Come Down’ LP.

‘The Door Behind The Door’ is a big step forward in terms of depth and maturity. Instead of indulging in genre trademarks (or repeating themselves), they’ve added more of their own character and the album is richer for it. It’s a sombre listen, and I expect it’ll be more popular with older listeners. There’s an avoidance of higher energy songs which may be a criticism by some, but that’s not really what ‘The Door Behind The Door’ is about. Instead, it’s every bit the many roomed house they promised, and with most songs running over six minutes there’s plenty to explore. The Black Ryder kick off their stateside tour this week, which heads to the UK and back again next month (see the full dates here).

Visit The Black Ryder @ The Anti-Machine Machine @ Facebook.

The Black Ryder - 'The Door Behind The Door'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • The Black Ryder re-invented!
  • Diverse album with depth
  • Guy/girl vocals
CON'S
  • Lower energy may turn off some fans
3.8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (6 Votes)