Hipsters Out Of Metal!

Hey, Can We Talk About “T-Ride” For A Sec? [UPDATED]

  • Anso DF


You’ve read an entry or two in our “U Jam?” series, in which MetalSucks unveils an awesome record we just encountered randomly that you might not know about. It’s our goal to give you the chance to give it a chance. So when we stumble upon acts like Abyssal, Death Karma, Kjeld, Dreadnought, or whatever, you will soon stumble upon our prior stumbling.

But it’s with no fanfare or much by way of description that we introduce you to these very special records. That would ratchet up your expectations; it’d be way harder for you to be blown away. Just the fact that the album is covered by MetalSucks guarantees that it’s interesting, so context is what is needed, not raves. So the text of a “U Jam?” story serves to get you in the best frame of mind to jam — not to fill your mind with comparisons.

Yet today we’re dragging out a 20-year old album that no one has heard of, so out goes the “no preconceptions” approach; the secret is out — you know it’s mind-blowing if we’re at work convincing you to pick it up two fucking decades after it sank without a trace. But this particular album … it’s tough to say what it is. It’s not prog, but it’s kinda schizo. It’s not authored by Prince or Invisible Touch-era Genesis or Def Leppard or Faith No More, but they could each make a hit from one of its tracks. It arrived on the downslope of hair metal but represented the genre’s next step. It’s by one of the first bands on Disney’s Hollywood Records, but that’s not even the weirdest aspect of its origin. It’s not Queen, but it’s kinda like “Bohemian Rhapsody” stretched to 40 minutes. Annnd it’s got a weird title: T-Ride. That’s the band and the title of their only album. It’s one of a kind and it rips.

For more backstory, let’s quote my favorite writer. From August 27, 2010:

The trio featured oddball guitar virtuoso Geoff Tyson (a proto-Buckethead shredder and chord wiz) and drummer/producer Eric Valentine, who’d go on to shepherd acts like Good Charlotte, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Lostprophets to their biggest successes. Bass and lead vocals were the work of Dan Arlie, an unusually mealy enunciator and deft lyricist. These guys were pros looking to make a distinctive entry to the hair rock canon; as such, their only album is packed with stacked backing vocals (a là Boston, Def Leppard) throughout brief, bursting songs that play like roller coaster rides. Just as exhilarating, too!

Since I wrote that in a guest column for Bring Back Glam!, Valentine confessed in an interview that it was he who played the album’s singular rhythm guitar parts, then hired a bud for its tiny explosions of shred and enlisted Tyson for the live tour with headliner Joe Satriani. So the “trio” was all a lie, has stated that Hollywood Records opted to portray T-Ride as the work of a trio, but the truth is more complicated: Its creation was Frankenstein-esque just like its songs. For the sake of the illusion, a few of T-Ride’s contributors (backing vocals, a bunch of lead guitar) go uncredited. In fact, Valentine played much of the rhythm guitar tracks.

For like the eighth time, a fan sees T-Ride in a new light: the work of a savant whose approach to drums, production, and guitar was way past 1992. Like a happy Trent Reznor predicting Muse. In 2015, Valentine’s doing great, so netting him a few more T-Ride fans isn’t meant to save his sanity or finances. I’d just hate myself if you draw your last breath never having run across this one, cuz its love is euphoric. Even if it’s not your vibe, you must at least know about a super-special album like this. Thanks for reading!

*CORRECTION: Hello MetalSucks reader, it’s me Anso DF. This footnote is to share with you an explanation of that big strikethrough up there: I screwed up this story a bit. A big mistake of interpretation. The paragraph above is updated and corrected. Thanks to all parties for bearing with me. 


T-Ride’s debut is available here; check out the product reviews.

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