Ash are back with their seventh studio album, and their first since 2007’s disappointing Twilight Of The Innocents.
It’s also their first since they vowed they wouldn’t make any more albums, and embarked instead on the hit-and-miss A-Z Series of singles.
The relative failure of that year-long project (their best UK chart showing was No 65) had many fearing they’d heard the last of the Irish upstarts.
But 23 years into their career they’re back, reinvigorated, with a new record which ranks alongside their very best.
Opener and lead track Cocoon is classic Ash, all soaring choruses and swathes of guitars, and Go! Fight! Win! is as brash as its title suggests.
The slow-burning Free and the strings-drenched Moondust bring the change of pace which they have always been most adept at, and they even throw in an instrumental, Evel Knievel, which sounds like Muse soundtracking a spaghetti western.
It’s followed by the exuberant Hedonism, and another stormer, Shutdown, which sounds like it could have come from their last great album, 2004’s Meltdown.
This is easily their best work in more than a decade, and up there alongside the aforementioned Meltdown, debut album 1977 and Free All Angels. 8/10. GW