Here it comes... Can you hear it... As Free All Angels is about to hit the shelves its almost time for Ash to be named the most exciting and exuberant fuzzy-poppers on every magazine in town (again). "A return to the days of 1977" shall front countless reviews by journo's everywhere and everyone will say; "Have you heard the new album, its just like their early stuff". Well, it seems right to revisit this album to just see how good it was...
And it starts well. Very well. Lose Control's rawkus, quiet/loud punk action almost smells of packed out youth clubs with Tim Wheeler at the mic, losing his heart to teenage love and its naïve charm. He even then, in a whirl of sexual frustration, gives us sensational wanky-lead and wah pedal action to volcanic effect. Put up the parasol...I'm in heaven...
Oh but there's more...Goldfinger's majestic and almost Stone Roses (well...the beginning reminds me of them...) like pop swagger jumps into your arms like the lovely 16 year old damsel you always dreamed of. The sappy imagery of "Listening to the rain" is just fantastic. Never has music sounded so damn young and with the prospect of sex always looming. When Girl From Mars comes in, the question must be; Could these boys ever survive out of the sixth form college? Could their little hearts really handle it? Angel Interceptor is the icing on the already heavily tiered cake. Sweet and seducing cute-punk as only Ash seem to deliver. Teenage girls everywhere are swooning to the pop screwing sensitive types and the boys are just rocking along with their invisible low slung Flying-V's (especially to Kung Fu).
This album still does have its faults. For a man who lusts after The Pixies sometimes the album just is too... soft. "Always on my mind" totting Lost In You is like a tear stained Shed 7 in slow motion. Gone The Dream's polite indie is just a space filler along with Let It Flow's samey pop rotation and Innocent Smile's slow build-up frankly is too slow for me. Harder tracks like Darkside Lightside and I'd Give You Anything are fine but are not what Ash do so well.
This album is an album by the young for the young. And as that it is almost out on its own. Though it is by no means perfect or complete, the severe hooks of the best of the Brut smothered tunes will always get 1977's name mentioned. This the perfect album to bring back all those memories of early Moshing experience, crop tops and countless cold showers.
8Joss Albert's Score