Ash are the Northern Irish alternative rock band, formed in Downpatrick in 1992 by vocalist and guitarist Tim Wheeler, bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray. As a three-piece, they released mini-album Trailer in 1994, followed by 1977 in 1996.
This 1996 release was named by NME as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time. After the success of their full debut the band recruited Charlotte Hatherley as a guitarist and vocalist, releasing their second record Nu-Clear Sounds in 1998. After narrowly avoiding bankruptcy the band released Free All Angels in 2001 and a string of successful singles.
Their fourth record Meltdown, released in 2004, was the band’s final record with Hatherley before returning to their original three-piece line up for their fifth studio album Twilight of the Innocents in 2007.
After five conventional albums the band released 26 singles in The A-Z Series in 2009, one every two weeks. The band have had one silver, two gold and two platinum-selling (and chart-topping) records in the United Kingdom, as well as 18 songs in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart.
The band’s new album ‘Cocoon’ is full of the compact three-piece bombast that has made Ash one of the country’s best-loved bands. “It’s Ash at their frenetic best: a wall of guitars and a shot of adrenaline with a sweet melodic chaser”, says Rick McMurray.
“One of the earliest songs written for the forthcoming album, you can hear how excited the three of us are to be back in the same room. Having this much fun crammed into two and a half minutes is probably illegal.”
Commenting on the new album – “After a wait of 8 years, and a long string of singles, we’ve gone on to do what we said we would never do again: we’ve only gone and recorded a brand new album!”
“We set out to capture the live essence of Ash, the closest sonic predecessor would be 2004’s ‘Meltdown’, with the songwriting of the ‘Free All Angels’ singles. . We’ve stripped away the electronic overtones of the A-Z series and made a streamlined blazing guitar record.”
“On every song you can hear what makes this band tick, our beating (atomic) heart. It’s a visceral expression of what has driven us since 1992. Passion, melody and Ash.”