There’s usually something in a rock star’s contract about sipping from the fountain of youth, a quid pro quo that allows you to stare at a camera and appear, at least to yourself, twenty years younger than you really are.
Ash have always seemed like one of the best examples of this effect. Whilst for those who’ve continued to delve into them at an album level there’s been plenty of progression away from the raw punk rock of their early years, it’s their string of hit singles – most notably Girl From Mars, Burn Baby Burn and Kung Fu – which remain their catalogue’s most tangible assets.
Clocking in at 54 songs, there was never any way the trio were going to wear accusations of delivering Teenage Wildlife as a lazy cash in, but so much content plays to both their strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand we’re reminded that they earned an Ivor Novello award for Sometimes in 2001, but equally over time it’s a collection that can fade into the background for want of just a few more rules being broken.
Twenty five years is a long time in music and the longevity of a band like Ash speaks to persistence and an unshakeable belief in what you’re doing. It also helps to let your inner child call the shots every once in a while.
You can read the full review here.