Race the Night
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ASH – RACE THE NIGHT – ALBUM REVIEW
At this point in their thirty year career Ash are something of a safe bet with consistently good records and always solid live. When other bands have self-destructed, lost the magic or faded away, Ash have remained a constant.
The relationships within the trio will of course be one key reason behind this longevity and when early press releases teased Tim Wheeler as describing ‘Race the Night’ as “the sound of the band reveling in the sheer joy of being a band after being separated by time and distance through the insanity of the early 2020s.”, the seeds were sewn for a change.
Change probably isn’t the right word to use though, perhaps re-emergence would suit better because as the band have drip fed singles from the new album many have likened the sound to 2004’s ‘Meltdown’ album in terms is heaviness.
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The constant will to pigeonhole and connect releases is always is kneejerk temptation from music press though, and whilst sonically the connection is obvious, ‘Race the Night’ actually stands out for the reason highlighted by Wheeler. That is plain and simply that this sounds like a band having fun and making an album that follows no set rulebook just a desire to unleash their creativity and see what happens.
Well what has happened with ‘Race the Night’ is a sublime slice of pop rock perfection. Fans of the band that have enjoyed recent offerings ‘Kablammo!’ and ‘Islands’ and observed how good those releases are will perhaps be surprised by the quality of this album. That’s because both those albums were very decent and maintained the legacy of the band, but ‘Race the Night’ sees the band take a giant leap forward.
There are of course radio hits, delicate melodies and rifftastic moments spread throughout the well balanced release as you’d expect from Ash, but if in doubt just listen to the fantastic album closer, ‘Like A God – Reprise’. You just can’t help but picture a young band just jamming together in a garage!
Yes, whilst Ash have never failed to deliver the goods, ‘Race the Night’ feels like a special present indeed.
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