“No band is an island, but Ash’s peaks rise as tall as any other” **** – NME
“Re-animating the kind of urgent, power pop nous that fired ubiquitous 2001 single Burn Baby Burn” – MOJO
“Tim Wheeler and co. continue their pop renaissance” 9/10 – Louder Than War
“Will certainly strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had their heart broken” – Q
“Islands feels like a homecoming of sorts, as well as a timely reboot. This is a band to grow old with” **** – Metro Album of The Week
“Masters of pop-rock perfection Ash restock their tackle box with yet more unshakeable hooks” **** – Classic Rock
“A deft and skilful trio, here songs such as the effervescent Annabel, the spacious and confident It’s A Trap and the irrepressible, bouncing Buzzkill make this point with insouciant ease” **** – Kerrang!
Ash have been on quite a journey since their humble beginnings working the 90s Belfast DIY circuit. 2018’s UK Top 20 album ‘Islands’ marks the band’s seventh studio release after 25 years of writing, touring & scoring films, even a dalliance with script writing. The three piece was formed in Downpatrick by Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray – Ash’s debut album ‘1977’ was included by NME as one of their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. The success of the album allowed the band to take a break from life on the road and return to their roots, writing in the same garage of Wheeler’s parent house where the band first began. This incubation paid off – single ‘Shining Light’ won Best Contemporary Song at the 2002 Ivor Novellos and that same year Q magazine ranked the band no. 2 on ’50 Bands To See Before You Die’. Ash have toured extensively with American rock legends Weezer throughout the US (bringing on board Charlotte Hatherley of Nightnurse for a period) and have opened for Smashing Pumpkins on home soil at Wembley Arena. ‘Islands’ – which spawned 2 6Music-playlisted singles – features The Undertones’ Damien O’Neill and Mickey Bradley on guest vocals and is self-produced by Tim Wheeler.