Ash – Intergalactic Sonic 7s

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

With the current chart-topping omni-presence of the newly revitalised Ash it is easy to forget that three years ago, they were severely up shit creek after the failure of their second full album NU-CLEAR SOUNDS to capitalise on past glories or incite much interest from the record-buying public.

But post-FREE ALL ANGELS and having seemingly found their God-given ability to churn out perfectly formed pop gems with careless abandon once again, Ash have now reached the point in their career when a Greatest Hits package makes sense.

So, in no particular order, INTERGALACTIC SONIC 7S blasts out Ash’s 19 singles so far, from 1994’s JACK NAMES THE PLANETS to current corker ENVY, via an array of classic tunes that still sound as fresh and immediate as ever.

Early classics like GIRL FROM MARS (written before the guys had even taken their GCSEs), KUNG-FU, ANGEL INTERCEPTOR, OH YEAH and GOLDFINGER rub shoulders with the brilliant return-to-form of SHINING LIGHT, BURN BABY BURN, CANDY, SOMETIMES and THERE’S A STAR, and with WALKING BAREFOOT and the Charlotte-debuting A LIFE LESS ORDINARY (from the film of the same name) thrown in for good measure.

The NU-CLEAR SOUNDS singles more than hold their own in this illustrious company, although NUMBSKULL was always a bit of a raucous black sheep and is wisely left to the end, while the TRAILER-period tracks are inevitably rawer than the more polished recent ones, but by no means interrupt the flow of quality.

Ash have always been a consummate singles band, and an opportunity to hear them all together just goes to demonstrate how far they’ve come and how much they still have to offer.

Ash, then – number one albums, headline slots at Reading and now their very own greatest hits album…and they’re still only in their mid-20s. Bastards.

5 stars