Sunday, December 1, 2013

Song Of The Week: 12/1/13

Song: "Space Shot"

Artist: Ash

Album: "A-Z: Vol. 1"

Year: 2010

"Space Shot" appears to be a song about just wanting to go out and lose yourself. It may be drug induced or alcohol induced. The vocalist just wants to go crazy and leave all inhibitions at home. He's ready to go out of his mind and lose control! Ash formed as a band back in 1992, hailing from Ireland. Vocalist/guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray were all high school students when they formed Ash. For two years they worked on various demo's, one of them being the song "Jack Names The Planets". In 1994, Ash released "Trailer". This album featured several songs from their earlier demo's as well as a few new recordings. 1995 was really the first breakthrough for Ash. Two of their songs, "Jack Names The Planets" and "Kung Fu" were added to the "Angus" movie soundtrack. This soundtrack was a commercial success and introduced Ash to a wider audience, especially in the United States. In 1996, the band rode that success in the form of their next album, "1977". Thanks in part to the singles "Goldfinger", "Oh Yeah" and "Girl From Mars", Ash was officially on the musical map. 1997 saw the band release the live album, "Live At The Wireless". It was also in 1997 that Ash recruited Charlotte Hatherley to join the band as second guitarist and back up vocalist. Her first appearance with Ash was on the single "A Life Less Ordinary". 1998 saw the band release "Nuclear Sounds". This album spawned the singles "Jesus Says" and "Wild Surf". The constant touring the band had been doing in support of "1977" and "Nuclear Sounds" was beginning to take a toll, however. The band almost went bankrupt and the critical and commercial failure of "Nuclear Sounds" nearly put Wheeler in full depression. Luckily, the band resurrected itself with the 2001 release of "Free All Angels". Hit singles such as "Shining Light", "Burn Baby Burn" and "Sometimes" led this album to reach #1 in the U.K. In 2002, Ash released a new single titled "Envy" as well as a singles compilation called "Intergalactic Sonic 7"s" which also came with a bonus b-sides disc called "Cosmic Debris". In 2004, the band released "Meltdown". This album featured the songs "Clones", "Meltdown", "Orpheus" and "Starcrossed". By 2006, Hatherley decided to part ways with Ash. This was a tough moment for the band as her background vocals would clearly be missed on future releases. In 2007, Ash released "Twilight Of The Innocents". The band had said that this album would be their last full length release as they felt the way music is being brought to the masses is changing and they wanted to change with it. Ultimately, they were saying that they would be releasing music digitally, probably as singles. 2009 saw the band try this strategy as they went on to release 26 singles, one every two weeks. This would be known as the "A to Z Series". In 2010, the band decided to release the entire "A to Z Series" on two compilation cd's, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Not only did these cd's feature all 26 singles, they also featured some b-sides, rare tracks and acoustic versions. In 2011, Ash collaborated with the band We Are Scientists to record the song "Washington Parks", which was released as a single and all the proceeds would go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Later in 2011, to celebrate the release of their greatest hits compilation, the band reunited with Charlotte Hatherley to perform a special set of shows. Both Wheeler and Hatherley did not rule out working together on future Ash material. 2012 saw Ash tour with Weezer in the United States. In 2013, Ash would perform their own headlining tour in the U.S. and in August, they would perform at the Y Not Festival in Derbyshire. Currently, Ash has been working on new material in a New York studio at times in 2013. The new material has been said to be a new full length album, not just singles. No word if Hatherley is back with the band working on the new album. Ash is a much bigger deal over in Ireland and the U.K. than they are here in the States, but they have sold over 10 million album worldwide since their inception. They fell into the alternative scene of the early and mid 90's, not quite grunge nor punk. I always thought they had a garage-y, pop sound. They've sometimes experimented using hip hop turntables as well as delving into some synth pop sounds. All in all, very underrated band. Like to see them harken back to their "Goldfinger" and "Burn Baby Burn" days with their new material though.

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