Nothing beats the good old days of 1977. How the 17-year-olds
managed to come up with classic, catchy rock is anyone’s
guess. Pity they blew it. Ash’s follow-up to their pop album
Free All Angels is certainly truer to their old rock roots.
Classic, scandalously repetitive lyrics remain, with catchy,
cheap rhyming choruses in full sway. Tim’s voice is still as recognisable as ever, and having
enjoyed the American pure rock influences they experienced on
their ‘Free All Angels Tour’, they teamed up with the
former Foo Fighters producer to create this heavier album. Opening with the Metallica-esque ‘Meltdown’, they
move seamlessly into ‘Orpheus’, the recent single, this
was exactly the rock vibe Ash needed to perform. Feisty drumming,
catchy melodies and the strong bass that runs through into
‘Evil Eye’ reveal Ash’s new, but nostalgic,
direction. They have also, re-discovered their ability to mix
rock with pure unashamed beauty. ‘Starcrossed’ is a
classic Ash track with a strong chorus reminiscent of Free All
Angels, with the youthful exuberance of 1977. This leads onto the
darker ‘Renegrade Cavalcade’ and ends with the mournful
tone of ‘Vampire Love’. Ash have learnt from their starry pre-“Nu-Clear
Sounds” sound. 1977 was pivotal, whilst Free All
Angels’ classic pop showed Ash selling their souls, in order
to have something worth fighting for. Meltdown sees another
change. They have created their own battle trying not to blow it.
Ash have returned to their rock roots, but not as far back as
their 1977days – maybe only 1987?ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004 

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