93 Million Miles From The Sun is a shoegaze/noise rock trio from Doncaster, England. They’ve been at it since 2008, and they’ve recorded a few EPs, a few singles and three albums. They have a new album called Fall Into Nothing due out soon, but they’re making a bunch of waves with this standalone song that they released last week.
Although this is a band which is right up my alley, I’d never listened to them before today. I’ve seen their name a bunch of times, including on some “the best of shoegaze” lists, but for some reason, I’ve never listened to them. Their name, by the way is a reference to the Earth’s distance from the sun. I’ll make the assumption that it’s a tip of the hat to the magnificent 1997 Swervedriver single “93 Million Miles From The Sun… and Counting”.
Some really big news came out of England two weeks ago. The massively influential shoegaze band Ride announced that they’re getting back together. At least long enough to play a few high-profile festivals in Europe and a very small handful of dates in North America.
After the landmark album Nowhere in 1990, Ride was on top of the world. They were the darlings of the UK indie rock press and they were one of the flag bearers for Creation Records. More importantly, they made a big splash in the United States. A lot of the English indies were flying under the US radar because of poor or non-existent distribution in the US and the often prohibitive cost of ordering import records. Ride made it here because of Seymour Stein. As the founder and chief of Sire Records, he brought a lot of up-and-coming bands to stardom. He also brought a lot of UK bands to prominence in the US. At some point in 1990, Stein made a deal for Sire/Warner to get US distribution of three of Creation’s biggest bands: My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Primal Scream. It was a huge deal for everybody involved, and that little back-room deal is an often overlooked stroke of genius.
Anyway, Ride continued their success with Going Blank Again, but they changed their style after that. Simultaneously, things started to go wrong within the band. Andy Bell and Mark Gardener were at each other’s throats and could no longer work together by the time their dismal failure Carnival of Light came out in 1994. They had a falling out that had them acting like bigger babies than Noel and Liam Gallagher. They managed to stay away from each other and still work with the rest of the band, and Carnival is literally split down the middle, with Gardener’s songs on one side and Bell’s on the other. They finally called it quits while they were actually recording their final album Tarantula in 1996. They stomped off in opposite directions, and oddly enough, Bell joined Oasis. By then, the Gallagher brothers had drifted far apart and they had a huge fight which Noel blamed partly on Bell. Bell and Liam started a band called Beady Eye.
That’s more backstory than you wanted and certainly more drama than you were expecting. The point is that except for a one-off a few years ago, everyone assumed that Bell and Gardener wouldn’t work together again and there would never be a Ride reunion.
Fortunately, they buried the hatchet and they’re working together. At least in preparation for the nine tour dates that they announced.
In celebration of this announcement, 93 Million Miles From The Sun went out and recorded a brilliant cover of “Drive Blind”, which is perhaps my second favorite Ride song. A couple of years ago, they also did a trippy, slowed-down cover of “Vapour Trail”, but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here, finally, for this:
“Drive Blind” as covered by 93 Million Miles From The Sun
The original Ride version clocks in at 4:46, and this cover stretches it out to a massive 8:15. That’s mostly thanks to a very extended intro and an extended coda. It also seems like it’s played at a slightly lower BPM rate, but I can’t really be sure.
It’s magnificent, and there’s really nothing else that needs to be said.
I don’t know the release date for the new album, but I do know that this song isn’t on it. As of right now, it doesn’t look like you can buy it. But you can stream it on Soundcloud as much as you want.