Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Seeing Ash in their post-Charlotte incarnation is like taking a trip back in time. Almost ten years, in fact. Which is not necessarily a good thing. Charlotte Hatherley joined the band when they were in crisis. Album "Nu-Clear Sounds" had failed to build upon the fun and youthful enthusiasm of "1977", fans were restless at the change to a new, less conventional sound and their record company were distinctly unimpressed. Enter Charlotte to give the band not only a focal point for teenage boys everywhere, but a sense of melody, some light and shade in their otherwise thrashy sound.

So, without Charlotte, guess what is missing? Come on, do I need to draw a diagram? Set opener "Lose Control" could be any Ash song from their first 5 years, whilst "Burn Baby Burn", for so long a highlight of any Ash show, becomes a stripped down dirge which even an audience singalong cannot save. Full credit to Tim, Mark and Rick for setting off back out on their own again, but they are going to have to work hard at putting the joie de vivre back into their music if they are to retain the fans they have made in the last few years. It'll sicken you to know this, but they are still only 30, which means there is still hope that they can make this work.


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