Streamlined to a trio they may be, but Ash have stated that their forthcoming album is "shaping up to be our best album yet".
The band posted a message at their MySpace page (here), which sort of reads as follows:
"We are now well into recording the backing tracks. Eight are currently in the bag. After working with a number of different engineers we found our guy in the extremely talented Claudius Mittendorfer.
"The overall sound of the album is kinda hard to describe but it's very melodic, all the backing tracks are being cut live and it's got a great feel. It has hints of our previous records but it's new Ash... it's fresh, it's exciting and it's shaping up to be our best album yet.
Nathan from Snow Patrol was here last week and after hearing a few demos he said it was already better than their record. Pope Benedict also said had he heard these songs two weeks ago he might not have gotten into the shit storm he's currently in."
The blog also lists fourteen songs which may or may not make the cut for the new record - some, presumably, will be used for b-sides. They are as follows:
'The Girl Who Can't Be Owned'
'You Can't Have It All'
'What Is The Meaning?'
'Dark And Stormy'
'End Of The World'