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Ash

Northern Irish punk-pop trio Ash were tentatively formed in 1989, when childhood mates Tim Wheeler and Mark Hamilton received guitars for Christmas and established a metal act named Vietnam. Following a handful of shows, Vietnam adopted the Ash moniker in 1992 and added Rick "Rock" McMurray on drums. The musicians shared a love for the raw British punk of the Buzzcocks and crafted their musical talents to take the Brit-pop scene by storm at the start of the decade. NME was soon swooning over these "teen punkers from Belfast," and by 1994, Ash had signed with Infectious Records and issued the Trailer EP.

Ash's glossy youth was undoubtedly alluring, yet the band's Irish roots exuded a bit of American flair similar to the likes of Pavement and the Lemonheads. Wheeler, Hamilton, and McMurray weren't even out of high school before three of their singles hit the Top Five in the U.K. indie charts. A year later, Ash made their full-length debut with 1977, topping the U.K. album chart, and set their sights on America, having inked a deal with Reprise Records. Named in honor of the year Star Wars was released, 1977 displayed Wheeler and Hamilton's full-fledged love for all things extraterrestrial and science fiction-related; the record also flaunted sharp guitar hooks and exact production work by Owen Morris (Oasis, New Order, Paul Weller). Ash took to headlining major festivals -- T in the Park, Glastonbury, Roskilde, and Reading -- and playing club dates across the globe. In fall 1997, female guitarist Charlotte Hatherley was added to the previously all-male lineup, marking a change in the band's sound and image.

With a new bandmate aboard, Ash matured during the late '90s, as their sound featured heavier guitars and a gritty lyrical shift. The band's sophomore effort, Nu-Clear Sounds (1998), featured the work of Garbage's Butch Vig (Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana) at the mixing board, but it also resulted in mixed reviews. NME turned on the band, criticizing Ash's new sound, calling the band "terrifying ghoulrawk thrashnik, deathcore noiseterror sultans of satanic verse" in August 1998. Harsh words and reviews notwithstanding, Ash forged ahead with Free All Angels (released in April 2001, although it didn't even see a U.S. release until the following summer) and 2005's Meltdown, which marked the band's first stateside release for the Record Collection label. They closed the year supporting U2 on their third world tour and soon after, Wheeler and Hamilton decided to relocate to New York while the band went on a six-month hiatus. Charlotte Hatherley announced her departure from the band one year later, having logged nearly a decade with the group.

Ash forged ahead as a trio and released Twilight of the Innocents in 2007, claiming that the album would be their last. Interestingly enough, they also assured their fans that they were not breaking up; instead, the group would only release singles in response to consumer trends. Starting in 2009, the band began the A-Z Series, releasing a new single every two weeks until all 26 singles were released. The following year they released A-Z: Vol. 1 -- which compiled singles A through M -- while A-Z: Vol. 2 completed the collection with songs N-Z a few months later. In 2011, to mark the release of their Best of Ash compilation, they were reunited with guitarist Hatherley for a short U.K. tour where they performed fan-favorite Free All Angels in its entirety.

Ash marked their 20th anniversary in 2012 with a sold-out show at the Garage in London, and they released an EP to coincide with the impressive milestone. Titled Little Infinity, the record consisted of cover versions, including the Beach Boys' "Do You Wanna Dance" and ABBA's "Lay All Your Love on Me." They continued their resurgence into 2013 with their first appearance in seven years at industry showcase SXSW in Texas, and they also played a handful of U.S. headline shows. Their busy touring schedule continued with a set of intimate shows in the U.K. before appearing at festivals at home and as far away as the 280 Festival in Jakarta. The trio kicked off 2014 with a string of shows on the West Coast of America before setting sail to perform on the Weezer Cruise. The following year they announced the release of their first full-length studio album since 2007's Twilight of the Innocents, despite their promise that it was their last. Titled Kablammo!, the record appeared in May 2015. Two years later, to mark the 20th anniversary of their debut album 1977, the trio released Live on Mars: London Astoria 1997, a live album documenting their five-night 1997 residency at London's famed Astoria venue. ~ MacKenzie Wilson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: A - Z Vol. I

1. Return Of White Rabbit

2. True Love 1980

3. Joy Kicks Darkness

4. Arcadia

5. Tracers

6. The Dead Disciples

7. Pripyat

8. Ichiban

9. Space Shot

10. Neon

11. Command

12. Song Of Your Desire

13. Dionysian Urge

14. War With Me

15. Coming Around Again

16. The Creeps

17. Ctrl Alt Del

18. Do You Feel It

x

Track List: Free all Angels

Disc 1

1. Walking Barefoot

2. Shining Light

3. Burn Baby Burn

4. Candy

5. Cherry Bomb

6. Submission

7. Someday

8. Pacific Palisades

9. Shark

10. Sometimes

11. Nicole

12. There´s A Star

13. World Domination

Disc 2
x

Track List: Nu-Clear Sounds

1. Jesus Says

2. Wild Surf

3. Folk Song

4. Numbskull

5. Burn Out

6. Aphrodite

7. Death Trip 21

8. Low Ebb

9. Fortune Teller

10. Projects

11. I'm Gonna Fall

x

Track List: 1977

1. Lose Control

2. Goldfinger

3. Girl From Mars

4. I'd Give You Anything

5. Gone The Dream

6. Kung Fu

7. Oh Yeah

8. Let It Flow

9. Innocent Smile

10. Angel Interceptor

11. Lost In You

12. Darkside Lightside

x

Track List: Trailer

1. Season

2. Jack Names the Planets

3. Intense Thing

4. Uncle Pat

5. Get Out

6. Petrol

7. Obscure Thing

8. Hulk Hogan Bubblebath

9. Different Today

10. Punk Boy

11. Day Of The Triffids

x

Track List: Everybody's Happy Nowadays (Single)

1. Everybody's Happy Nowadays

x

Track List: Kablammo!

1. Cocoon

2. Let’s Ride

3. Machinery

4. Free

5. Go! Fight! Win!

6. Moondust

7. Evel Knievel

8. Hedonism

9. Dispatch

10. Shutdown

11. For Eternity

12. Bring Back The Summer

x

Track List: Little Infinity

1. Do You Wanna Dance?

2. Coming Around Again

3. Lay All Your Love On Me

4. Hello Goodbye

5. Pledging My Love

6. What Ever Happened

7. Teenage Wildlife

x

Track List: Live 1996 (Remastered)

1. A Clear Invitation To Dance

2. Darkside Lightside

3. Girl From Mars

4. Oh Yeah

5. T Rex

6. I'd Give You Anything

7. Kung Fu

8. What Deaner Was Talking About

9. Goldfinger

10. Petrol

11. A Clear Invitation To Dance, Pt. 2

12. Lose Control

13. Jack Names The Planets

14. T Rex

15. Goldfinger

16. Angel Interceptor

17. Darkside Lightside

18. Oh Yeah

19. Innocent Smile

20. Lost In You

21. Petrol

22. Gone The Dream

23. Girl From Mars

24. Kung Fu

x

Track List: Teenage Kicks (Single)

1. Teenage Kicks

x

Track List: The A-Z Series

1. Return Of White Rabbit

2. True Love 1980

3. Joy Kicks Darkness

4. Arcadia

5. Tracers

6. The Dead Disciples

7. Pripyat

8. Ichiban

9. Space Shot

10. Neon

11. Command

12. Song Of Your Desire

13. Dionysian Urge

14. War With Me

15. Dare To Dream

16. Mind Control

17. Insects

18. Binary

19. Physical World

20. Spheres

21. Instinct

22. Summer Snow

23. Carnal Love

24. Embers

25. Change Your Name

26. Sky Burial

27. There Is Hope Again

28. Coming Around Again

29. The Creeps

30. Ctrl-Alt-Del

31. Do You Feel It?

32. Kamakura

33. Disenchanted

34. Teenage Wildlife

35. Spellbound

36. Nightfall

37. Midnight In The Garden

38. Running To The Ocean

39. Lay Down Your Arms

40. Gallows Hill

41. Night Terrors

42. Empire Of Sand

43. Pirates Are So 2004

44. No Heartbreaker

45. Lights Out

46. Midnight Militia

47. Replicants

48. Nouvelles Aventures

49. Arcadia (Live)

50. Space Shot (Live)

51. True Love 1980 (Acoustic)

52. Joy Kicks Darkness (Acoustic)

53. Arcadia (Acoustic)

54. Tracers (Acoustic)

55. Space Shot (Acoustic)

56. Command (Acoustic)

57. War With Me (Acoustic)

58. Do You Wanna Dance?

59. Lay All Your Love On Me

60. Hello Goodbye

61. Pledging My Love

62. What Ever Happened?

Comments

Report as inappropriate
huhwhtfkr
Great band overshadowed by the machines push of s**t "music"
Report as inappropriate
they stole
Report as inappropriate
thy stoe hello goodbye from The Beatles
Report as inappropriate
i first heard of them with the game republic commando. greatest game ever. i love these guys
Report as inappropriate
I <3 Ash, and Tim Wheeler is a damn fine man!
Report as inappropriate
Ash continues to kick a** with the song Clones. Off of Meltdown
Report as inappropriate
I never knew until today that they were the band behind the song "Goldfinger" . Love that song.
Report as inappropriate
These guys kick a**!

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