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Ash - Nu-Clear Sounds (Infectious)

The words 'eagerly anticipated' don't do Ash's second album proper any justice. A new guitarist/vocalist, a spate of live gigs and a single for a soundtrack have filled the two year gap since "1977" and if ever an album was talked about and needed it's Ash's 'difficult' sophomore offering.

The addition of Charlotte Hatherley as a second guitarist and vocalist adds a new dimension to the music - crisper distortion and 3D chord-play are abundant and a second voice really makes the music come alive. In addition, a certain maturity has entered the music, while not exactly changing their style, has adapted the sound to older tastes. So, while the punk-pop is still there and the slow songs still grab you in the gut, the sound, style and result is both grown-up and as enjoyable as before. Definitive Ash and arguably their best work to date.

by Michael Gleeson.

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