Now, the cruel amongst you may be saying ‘Ash, are they still going?’. Which will be a shame because you will have missed some really great tracks since the days they were troubling the charts. Even more importantly you will have missed some great gigs, as they remain an awesome live band.
Anyhow, this album opens up with the very ‘Ash sounding’ “True Story”. Along with tracks like “Silver Suit” and “Is It True” it clearly shows the band haven’t lost their talent for delivering melodic indie rock of the highest order. They are catchy and instantly likeable. Indeed, songs like “Annabel” and “Somersault” are the power pop indie songs which were sending them to the high levels of the charts during the Brit Pop days. When you hear the great pop rock of songs like “All That I Have Left”, it shows that they can easily match the more lauded bands like Weezer in delivering brilliant songs.
Any fears that the band may have lost any of their passion is immediately put aside by “Buzzkill”, a song where the band are at their most raucous but still has a huge melody. They’re also still able to throw the odd curve ball in the mix. A particular favourite track is the almost disco flavoured pop of “Confessions In The Pool”. Whilst the brilliant “Don’t Need Your Love” and “Did Your Love Burn Out” are the perfect summer radio hits.
Ash perhaps never quite get the praise they are due. Perhaps not kooky or diverse enough to be loved like Wilco and presumably just not American enough to be Weezer. But they have always delivered excellent indie rock tunes with huge melodies. The fact is that every time we listen to this album we enjoy it and it makes us feel good. We’d like to think that would equal mission accomplished for the band