Ash Are Ready to Go ‘Kablammo!’ Again!
Coming 20 years after their breakout, the Irish pop-punk trio’s new album is a welcome return to form
By: Andrew Unterberger // June 11, 2015
It’s been a long way back to basics for Ash. The Irish trio became stars as teenagers in the U.K. for their ebullient pop-punk jams and endearing teenage antics, cute enough to be (erroneously) marketed as a boy band in their early days but RAWK enough to cite J Mascis as a key influence. But for a decade, the group hadn’t released a full album in their classic, sunny guitar-pop mold since 2001’sFree All Angels — detouring with ’04’s metal-inflected Meltdown, 2007’s dingier Twilights of the Innocent, and most notably, the ultra-ambitious, wildly digressive A-Z Series singles project that stretched from 2009 into 2010. But for latest album Kablammo!, out this week in the U.S., Ash had no objectives beyond making an album of catchy, invigorating and preternaturally tuneful and cuddly rock blasts that could hold their own with the smashes off Angels and their breakthrough debut album, 1996’s 1977. To the band’s credit, it does!
“Marbled hard rockers while expanding their knack for sterling chorus hooks and a tendency toward sincere expressions of love and longing. All of these elements are present in spades on Ash’s first studio record in eight years. As its name implies, KABLAMMO! is exuberant and energetic!