With a name like ‘Darkest Hour Of The Night‘, you wouldn’t be wrong in anticipating a return to Ash’s heavier material; something more akin to Meltdown’s ballsier moments topped off with a dose of Ash at their most epic and most ballad-y, ala Twilight Of The Innocents. And yet from the opening swell into bouncing bass, it is clear that this is Ash doing what they do best; that is to say, writing songs that could slice through the very coldest of nights, with the bubbliest and brightest sounds pop infused rock has to offer.
Recorded in Atomic Heart Studios and penned by enduring frontman Tim Wheeler, Ash’s latest is a testament to the band’s winning formula for crafting sweet summer melodies underpinned by a darkly pop core. Brilliant as ever, Wheeler’s timelessly melancholy vocals resonate hard. With simple and sharp lyrics, the picture is painted for a love lost and a love pined for as the song bops along over fresh electronic sounds – now with added horns! – courtesy of art-pop yanks, Rubberbucket. Firing up the brass work is especially effective over the back half of the song, when tempos change and grooves linger as Tim ponders, “Will the sun be rising?”
Although it’s the lead single on Ash’s new retrospective, Teenage Wildlife, aptly released on Valentine’s Day, the track wouldn’t feel out of place on a mid 80’s Cure record; it even has the hand claps and somber jazz to go with it!
Ash can still write an absolute tune – here’s hoping there will be another retrospective album in 20 years packed full of more gems like this from the years to come! The sun is well and truly rising.