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Ash - Twilight of the Innocents

Ash, Twilight of the Innocents

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

AND so we come to the end of an era for Ash… their final album (they’re only going to release singles from now on). But don’t fret. It’s not the end of the band but the beginning of a new era – and to all intents and purposes, a glorious one.

Twilight Of The Innocents is the band’s fifth album and a blistering return from the band, who have had to cope with the loss of Charlotte Hatherley and a great deal of scepticism.

It’s a record that confidently recaptures the early brashness of songs like Girl From Mars and Burn Baby Burn with the layered maturity of Shining Light and There’s A Star.

Hence, for every belting track like You Can’t Have It All, which marked their emphatic return (minus Hatherley), there’s an epic slow-builder like the beautiful Polaris just to mix things up. But Twilight doesn’t just mark a retread of old, familiar territory; it’s a record that keeps the band moving forward in take notice fashion.

As Tim Wheeler himself brashly states: “A lot of bands who make it to their fifth record seem to kick back and do their dusty country record. But we’re not ready to slow down yet. We’ve still got the hunger and the energy. We’re freaks of nature, really.

“We knew we had to do something special with this record and I honestly think we have.”

Upin hearing it several times, I’m inclined to agree. On tracks like the barnstorming Princess Six or album opener I Started A Fire, they certainly blow away the cobwebs and rock out with the best of them. The energy is intense but utterly infectious and it’s clear they’ve lost none of their ability to keep the mosh pit charged and sweaty.

But equally, there’s a greater sense of purpose on some of the slower efforts. Songs like Dark And Stormy, with its shimmering guitar solos and catchy melody, or End Of The World, which slow builds from an acoustic intro and despairing outlook to some skyscraping choruses (complete with well-judged strings attached).

Elsewhere, the early sharp riffs of Ritual hint at the stadium-filling sounds of much bigger bands, before careering into another euphoric chorus, while Shadows combines hand-clap beats with more shimmering guitar work that really underlines the sense that Hatherley hasn’t been missed.

Final track, Twilight Of The Innocents throws just about everything at listeners – slow building into a beautiful, strings-laden epic of majestic porportions. It’s the crowning achievement on a really great album that shows Wheeler was right to be so confident about the band’s current form. They’re scorching hot right now and it’s time to bask in their glory.

Download picks: Polaris, Twilight of the Innocents, End of The World, Palace of Excess, Princess Six, Shadows

Track listing:

  1. I Started A Fire
  2. You Can’t Have It All
  3. Blacklisted
  4. Polaris
  5. Palace Of Excess
  6. End Of The World
  7. Ritual
  8. Shadows
  9. Princess Six
  10. Dark And Stormy
  11. Shattered Glass
  12. Twilight Of The Innocents

  1. Another great album by Ash. Great solos, great songs. Unreal in the moshpit I'd say. Must go see em with this album

    dave    Jul 13    #