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Ash: A-Z Vol 2

A new kind of singles club.

While the self-appointed merchants of doom and gloom are donning their metaphorical sandwich boards to announce that the end of the music industry is nigh, Ash have merrily binned the concept of working with major labels, set up their own studio and label, announced that they’re done with proper albums in favour of releasing singles as and when they feel like it, and have had a successful time of it ever since.

Which, after 18 years as a band, isn’t bad going for the teens who burst onto our radios with Jack Names The Planets in 1994.

This compilation of the second half of their A-Z series of singles is as effervescent as ever, the buzzing riffs of Mind Control powering along the simplistic mental confusion of the lyrics: (‘What the fuck is going on?’).

They’ve always been romantic souls too, and the soppiness of ballad Carnal Love, with its heavenly choir backing vocals and frontman Tim Wheeler’s thunderstruck mooning over his beloved is utterly endearing. Binary, meanwhile, is purely, hormonally funky, a disco anthem with a chronic case of the horn. And while none of this strays from the formula that’s worked for them for so many years, they still sound as fresh and optimistic as ever.