Ash are back with a hot iron branding stick to burn a hole in your cranium and deliver to you anthem rock that you know and love. Sounding like a mix between their Irish counterparts Thin Lizzy and classic ‘80s indie pop this album carries the flag well.
‘Machinery’ definitely feels that way from the first beat. The vocals of frontman Tim Wheeler are clear, articulate and genre perfect. Four-four riffs and electric blues solos a plenty, overdriven guitars and catchy pop phrases almost reminiscent of a watered down The Libertines. Things begin to slow down and create a reflective moment that will fits well with any festival sundown this summer, with piano led ‘Moondust’ which includes the line:
“Won't you come home safe / And will you bring me back some moondust”
A shower of yellow and green comets dazzle overhead as the lead guitar breaks in over the high octave and beautiful vocals, moondust and harmony. Stability is found in the album, and at times it feels like it remains safe, without breaking or even going near the edges. But ‘Dispatch’ reminds us that if it works, you don't need to push boundaries or explore new horizons, if the fields you’re still farming are producing good yields. Outstanding pop guitar thrashing remains the staple crop of the album, and tones that Britpop fans know and love make for a good time to be had by all.
This is going to be one of the festival albums of 2015, with new fans climbing on board, and old fans getting a taste of something they have been longing for… Perfect for driving in the car, perfect for a BBQ with friends, perfect for summer festivals. With a formula for rock music this good, why change it? Ash have managed to deliver all of the above.