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This weekend I’ll mostly be listening to… Ash, the A-Z Series March 6, 2010

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Okay, it’s been a while since we had an Irish band on here. And in part that is because Conor, Seán, Jim and Donagh at Dublin Opinion are covering that side of the waterfront. However here’s a little experiment from a crowd, all the way from Downpatrick (which when you think about it, given that it’s a small island, isn’t that far really), I consider to be maybe the best band to make it big internationally in quite a while. I mentioned a while back how ‘Oh Yeah’ from them had ‘[an] awful video, [was] a great song and [they were] a fantastic group’. And I’ve seen no reason to change my opinion subsequently.

Scarily melodic. Crunchy guitars. Poppy, definitely poppy, but with a certain edge. The mini-album Trailer and the full album 1977 were instant classics – as, in the latter case, any album that has the sound of a TIE fighter as the intro to a song should be… Was never much of a fan of their JAMC phase on Nu-Clear Sounds. But never hated it. And have sort of followed their later stuff with interest.

The latest idea is great. Even if it’s a complete gimmick. A year or so ago they decided to eschew album releases, coincidentally (ahem) after parting company with their record label and setting up their own. Instead they declared that they’d issue a series of singles, coming out every fortnight on the internet.

The project started last October and is set to continue until later this year… each single has a letter of the alphabet accompanying it (bar the first, Return of White Rabbit, which has, an er… Rabbit glyph), and so far they’ve released about 12.

So far? So good. There are some tracks which are recognisably Ash like. Power pop, even metal in parts. But… and this I really like. There are quite a few which take turns into somewhat different territory. So ‘White Rabbit’ is sort of funky, with a strong electronic beat. Neon sounds like a cross between Muse and Apoptygma Bezerk. Which is an unusual combination. True Love 1980 has an early ’80s beat which sounds like it could have been released in… 1980. And they’re all damn catchy.

Got to applaud a willingness to push the envelope… and there’s another 14 or so to go yet.

True Love 1980

Neon

Return of White Rabbit

Arcadia

Comments»

1. Seán Báite - March 9, 2010

Ta for the tip of the hat in our direction WBS. We’ve not done much on the home (music) front recently unfortunately – apart from a post on a certain atrocity from Cork.
I suppose the last 2 Irish bands to ‘make it’ internationally were Ash and Snow Patrol. Both from not far away from each other. Always liked hearing Ash without going too much out of my way to do so.
That first vid – thought it was looking like an episode of ‘Happy Days’ minus the canned laughter – then it turned into Gus Van Sandt 🙂

PS get me fada back on the right vowel please or I’ll get your old Irish teacher after ye…

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WorldbyStorm - March 9, 2010

Oops… Know what you mean about Ash. Great, but great in a detached way.

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