Ireland.com "Twilight Of The Innocents" 22.6.2007
Let's hear it for the good guys. Ash have been snookered by their own
past mistakes: hitching their coattails to the metal bandwagon for their
Meltdown album did them no favours; neither did their abortive attempts
at trying to break into the US. With long-time (but not original member)
guitarist Charlotte Hatherley now departed, and with this cracking
little record aching to get out of the traps, it seems the band are once
again embracing the kinds of songs that kick-started their success in
the first place: tight pop/punk tunes, one or two dreamy slow tracks,
guitars switched to "sting" and lyrics that fuse lead singer-songwriter
Tim Wheeler's inner turmoil with emotional and romantic resignation.
Heard it all before? Probably, but Ash do this kind of thing so well
you're best advised to engage, then marry.
TONY CLAYTON-LEA, 4/5]
Hot Press - June 2004
01 Jun 2004
"Recorded in sunny California, under the sonic supervision of Nick ‘Foo Fighters’ Raskulinecz, Ash’s fourth studio album is one big-sounding, drums-pounding, amps-to-eleven, NOISY MOTHERFUCKER of a record (as the irate neighbour said to the policeman)."
[RTÉ Entertainment - "Meltdown" - May 2004
The fantastic, deserve-to-be-bigger American band Clutch once defined their whole reason to be - and at the same time put it up to their audience - with the song title 'Who Wants to Rock?'. If Ash hadn't named their new album 'Meltdown', then there really was only one other choice.
In-the-van tours of the US and time with Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age producer Nick Raskulinecz has toughened up their sound, but the advance word suggesting that Ash had ditched fun for fierce is a little wide of the mark. Tim Wheeler is no Josh Homme, but even Homme hasn't got the same way with choruses.
Bigger, louder and with seven of its 11 tracks just waiting to be singles, few bands will manage to straddle street cred and chart savvy so successfully this year. And if people tire of the Beastie Boys' upcoming record as the sound of their summer, there are always thrills to be found in these amps.
Ash's greatest achievement may have been surviving an album as dreary as 'Nu-Clear Sounds' and coming back with one as likeable as 'Free All Angels'. But 'Meltdown' comes a very close second.
Harry Guerin, 4/5]
[Ash - TBMC, Dublin - April 2004
Ash are back... And gone is the poppery of Free All Angels, replaced with a pumping LA sound. That’s probably what you get from living in the States for the last while, recording with Queens Of The Stone Age and Foo Fighters producer Nick Rasculinecz and using Dave Grohl’s snare drum from Nevermind.]
[Encyclopedia Of Albums]
ARTIST Ash RELEASE DATE May 1996 (UK)/May 1996
(US) LABEL Infectious Records (UK)/Reprise (US) PRODUCER Owen Morris,
Ash UK CHART peak/weeks 10/4 US CHART peak/weeks 0/0 TRACK LISTING Lose
Control/Goldfinger/Oh Yeah/Let It Flow/Innocent Smile/Angel
Interceptor/Lost In You/Darkside Lightside PERSONNEL Tim Wheeler (g, st),
Mark Hamilton (b), Rick McMurray (d), Lisa Moorish (v), Nick Ingman (st),
Owen Morris (st)
Young, lucky, and obsessed with comic books and tacky TV shows, Ash hit the UK indie-pop upsurge with all cylinders firing. The Northern Irish trio had already turned down tours with Pearl Jam and Soul Asylum (due to school commitments!) when their singles started to garner rave reviews and chart showings. 1977 buzz-sawed to number one, high on adrenaline, named after the year of punk rock, Star Wars, and the birth of Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray. Oh Yeah demonstrated an ear for poignant melody and dynamics which suggested Ash might not burn out as quickly as one might at first have expected.
... 1977 is sprightly if ineffectual, with more in the way of youthful ebullience than any real musical artistry. N.D., Mojo, June 1996]
Oleo.tv "Nu-clear Sounds"
At the ripe old age of 22, Ash's vocalist-guitarist Tim Wheeler and bassist Mark Hamilton prove they are wise beyond their years by trying not to be. The songs on Nu-Clear Sounds grab ideas from the louder end of the Britpop spectrum. About half resurface Teenage Fanclub's grubby guitar noise, while the cleaner tracks were definitely written with Blurry vision. Still, the power-pop elements are borrowed from the west end of the pond: producer/Garbage member Butch Vig works his alt-indie alchemy on the first three tracks--wham-bam glam rears its glittery head on "Jesus Says" and the thrashing and banging about of "Wild Surf" meets quaint sing-along harmonies. On the grittier side, "Numbskull," cranking out monster chords and spewing scaly vocals, could pass for a Pixies B-side. Same goes for the searing "Death Trip 21"--imagine U2's "Bullet the Blue Sky" if Korn had thought of the song first. So, are these young 'uns rip-off artists? No way. Ash's originality springs from their ability to listen, learn, and rewrite the lesson with the ink of their own intensity. --Beth Massa