You remember when Ash went shit don’t you? Firstly, there was the ‘Nu-Clear Sounds’ era when they tried to be all serious after the pure pop delights of ‘1977’, but they quickly retreated from that when they realised that people wouldn’t buy their records if they sounded like that. Then, in 2004, again trying to head off in a new direction, they released the horribly misjudged ‘Meltdown’ which actually looked shitter than it sounded. Which took some doing. However, when they weren’t being tedious, Ash were responsible for some killer indie classics, full of hooks, ‘ooooh’ backing vocals and riffs to get recently bereaved, chronically arthritic nuns air-guitaring along. ‘Free All Angels’ sounded like a greatest hits on its own and then when their actual best of, ‘Intergalactic Sonic Sevens’ turned up, it was hard to believe how many wonderful singles they’d actually made. Just like James’ ‘Best Of’ it was a case of ‘oh yeah, I remember that one’ all the way through. I was also quite fond of 2007’s widely ignored ‘Twilight Of The Innocents’ which had enough shiny guitar spangle to keep me happy.
However, Ash are now not doing albums. Just singles. They’re subverting the rotting corpse of the 20th century music making model. Or something. Anyway, they’re currently almost a third of the way through their corking ‘A-Z Series’, whereby they’re releasing a new single every two weeks for a year. Hence A-Z, as that’ll make 26 songs, cunningly labelled with the letters of the alphabet. After all, ‘The 26 Songs we’ll probably eventually release as a double CD compilation – which definitely won’t be an album proper Series’, is a far less catchy title. I’ll confess that I couldn’t be diddled with the extortionate prices to collect this series on 7” so I plumped for the £13 (50p a song, for those who find thinking hard) subscription which allows me to download each song as and when it’s released. So far, it’s been a largely successful venture, with ‘Arcadia’ and ‘Space Shot’ probably just ahead of the others. Apart from this one, of course. The first track, ‘True Love 1980’ is a wonderful pop nugget and it is disgustingly catchy. A couple of plays and it’ll have you in its grip. No bad thing, I can assure you. Anyway, press play below and get cracking.