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Ash - Meltdown - Released: 17/5/2004 through Infectious - Album Review

Ash
Meltdown
Released: 17/5/2004
Infectious

Ladies and gentlemen, Ash are back! Following a break from the spotlight, Tim Wheeler and his buddies are back with a kick ass classic, if a little rougher around the edges, Ash album and, well, you’d better love it, because there’s no getting away from the pesky Northern Irish foursome this summer.

Ash - Meltdown - Released: 17/5/2004 through Infectious - Album Review

Fresh from a triumphant homecoming at Radio 1’s One Big Weekend in Derry the band are confirmed for California’s Coachella festival, Ireland’s Oxygen , T4’s Pop Beach and The Carling Reading & Leeds Weekend with label mates The Darkness… and that’s not to mention their full UK tour which runs throughout May and June.

Meltdown is the first album release since their poppier 2001release ‘Free All Angels’ which saw Ash hit the number one spot and win numerous awards including Q’s single of the year for ‘Burn Baby Burn’. Amazingly, Meltdown manages not to be overshadowed by it’s predecessor and Ash have returned with an album that’s choc-a-block with energetic riffs and summer rock anthems.

Title Track opener, ‘Meltdown’, oozes the frustration felt by Tim after joining the February peace marches where 'you go on a walk with two million people and it doesn't seem to make a difference', sentiments perfecty expressed in the lyrics: ‘I think, my head, my head is gonna explode, I think my head is gonna explode yeah. I think my brain is gonna overload, I think my head is gonna overload’.

‘ Orpheus’, released 3/5/04, is the perfect summer companion andis best served blasting from your car with the windows open and the wind in yourhair. Former download only single ‘Clones’ keeps the energy levelsup mid way through the album and is the proud owner of some of the best riffson the record.

The pace drops slightly with ‘Starcross’d’ seeing the band show their more tender, chilled side fleetingly before we’re thrown back into the mix with ‘Out of the Blue’.

The high energy gems of the album’s beginning are more than matched by its end and in ‘Vampire Love’, taken from the Shaun of the Dead soundtrack (on which Ash collaborate with a certain Chris Martin for a cover of The Buzzcocks’ ‘Everybody's Happy Nowadays’), Ash make certain they go out on top.

Recorded in the LA studio which has spawned such classics as Nivarna’s Nevermind, and produced by, Queens of the Stone Age & Foo Fighters producer Nick Rasculinecz, ‘Meltdown’ lives up to expectations and if you’re looking for summer vibes to thrash around to then you’ve come to the right place.

Ash, ‘Meltdown’ tour dates:

25/05 Leeds University Union
27/05 Liverpool Academy
28/05 Hall for Cornwall Truro
30/05 Carling Apollo Hammersmith
31/05 Carling Academy Birmingham
01/06 Carling Academy Bristol
03/06 University Oxford (sold out)
05/06 Manchester University (sold out)
07/06 Northumbria University

Jude Stone