_I fell in love with a sweet sensation, I fell in love with a simple chord.
I think my brain is gonna overload, I think my head is gonna explode, yeah.
And so the tale of Ash’s latest album begins.
It's an affair which really began more years ago than we care to remember, when they dropped ‘1977’ - arguably one of the most calculated and important British rock records of the last decade. Soundtracking a generation coming of age, falling off skateboards and in love with guitars, girls and martians.
So, older, wiser, song-writing prize winning albums and a few thousand shows around the Globe later, where are Ash at? Essentially, 'Meltdown' is a combo of Ash of all ages. There's the massive post-Sonic Youth, sugar-grunge of the criminally under-rated ’Nuclear Sounds’, the popsome teenage punka of ‘Jack Names the Planets’, with a dose of the sickly saccharine of ‘Candy’. This is the kinda rock record us malnourished Brits can be proud of. It's Ash being Ash. Not growing up. Not growing old and not lazily changing a bunch'a other folks' songs a bit and calling them their own.
The download-only single ‘Clones’ with probably the biggest riff on the record is as good a guide as any, topped with more rhyming than an East London market and that underlying dizzy-pop that we've grown to love Ash for. However, it's not quite ’Out Of The Blue’ which despite tip-toedly tributing Weezer’s ’Surfwax USA’ IS this summer's rock anthem. Cementing the whole 'Ash doing Ash' ethos is ’Renegade Cavalcade’, the undupitable centerpiece: catchy as fuck and sweeter than any crush. Then there's the opener 'Meltdown' which is all jagged pop edges and killer kinked rock, and then there's the axe-weilding leather-clad Brian Willson of a next single 'Orpheus' and last but not least, the closer, 'Vampire Love' taken from the Dawn of the Dead soundtrack, which is Ash in a dark harmonious place, with clouds of smoke pouring from some filthy witches cauldron as Zombies drop to their knee's at the edge of the stone circle. Or something.
This is Ash ready for stadiums, standing their ground and treating us to the kind of rock their heroes made. They could have grown up, got mortgages and given up on their teenage dreams of (gimme, gimme) world domination, but living in Never Never Land, writing heart-swallowing radio-conquering tunes is all Ash know.
Read Tim-everything-must-rhyme-Wheeler's lips: Shove this down your leather-reekin', fake'n'rollin', BRMC lovin' throats and choke. Take your snakebite-sick-stained retro rock and burn it. Dance, sway, sing the sing-along, because Ash are back, and then some.
8Sean Adams's Score