Never ones to shy away from a chorus the size of a modern ocean liner, Ash return to the singles chart with typical slice of hook-laden pop-rock littered with irritatingly memorable lyrics about, y’know, nothing in particular. You’d have thought, by now, Tim Wheeler would be singing like a man whose balls had dropped. ‘You Can’t Have It All’ dispels that idea almost immediately. The poor lamb’s going to sound like this ‘til Death comes knocking.
But if Ash were judged solely on the abilities of their vocalist then they’d have drifted off into the indie-pop ether long ago – this song, and many a single before it from the band’s strong back catalogue (Intergalactic Sonic 7”s is still great), sounds roughly a million times better when sung by a room full of sweaty teenagers… and a few strays who are probably old enough to know better. It will become a live favourite – every component is in place, perfectly. It is therefore, essentially, Ash by numbers, and the desertion of a certain second guitarist hasn’t detracted any from the band’s pop potency.
While ‘You Can’t Have It All’ certainly doesn’t make a case for us needing Ash around in this day and age, it doesn’t exactly have us wishing they’d called it quits at Nu-Clear Sounds either (although if that’d happened we’d never have heard the awesome ‘Burn Baby Burn’). If we had to pick a side it’d be for keeping the trio – after all, without them to remind us otherwise we’d probably wind up thinking Feeder are halfway decent.
7Mike Diver's Score