Twilight Of The Innocents

Recently revealed to be the last ever Ash album, Twilight Of The Innocents re-announces the group's commitment to melody and proves they have successfully re-ignited their creative spark.

Ash’s full-length albums have tended to follow a strict pattern; an immediate, catchy punk-pop record is succeeded by a less-appealing, metal-tinged set. They are a brilliant pop group, who occasionally get an unfortunate urge to be a mediocre heavy rock band.

Let’s recap: Wheeler and co.’s stellar debut 1977 preceded their plodding sophomore effort Nu-clear Sounds. 2001’s return-to-form Free All Angels paved the way for another disappointment: 2004’s gurning, bombastic Meltdown.

But the cycle continues, so the time for another good Ash release has rolled around once more. They are a trio again, following the departure of Charlotte Hatherley, but it doesn't seem to have dampened their spirits.

Ash’s better records have usually been rewarded with superior sales and greater acclaim, but they may have to make do without the former this time; people have grown tired of their inability to deliver consecutive killer releases, and their reputation as teenage heartbreakers will limit their appeal as they grow older.

But, this shouldn't bother them too much, as they have successfully re-ignited their creative spark. The opening ‘I Started A Fire’ is a breath of fresh air: lean, purposeful, punky and poppy – it serves as a timely reminder of Tim Wheeler’s songwriting skills, and re-announces the group’s commitment to melody.

The lads maintain this momentum for an impressively large chunk of Twilight Of The Innocents. ‘You Can’t Have It All’ and ‘Blacklisted’ have a lovely air of end-of-summer melancholy; classic-Ash-by-numbers, perhaps, but none the worse for it.

They also remain one of few groups who can pull off epic, string-laden ballads without sounding sappy and bombastic. ‘Polaris’ and ‘End Of The World’ are crashing, monumental slabs of stadium rock, yet they still manage to resonate when played in a more intimate environment.

Things run aground during the last three tracks; Wheeler’s touch deserts him on ‘Dark And Stormy’ and ‘Shattered Glass’, while the title-track (and closer) is a dark, moody epic, which never thrills in the way that Ash’s shorter pop nuggets do.

Still, for the most part, this is a welcome return to form. But beware: another rubbish Ash record is surely just around the corner.

 

Related Articles

LISTEN: Ash giving away free acoustic EP

You can download one track each week, starting with 'Free'.

Read More

WATCH: Ash share video for 'Evel Knievel'

KABLAMMO! track gets adrenaline-fuelled promo

Read More

Ash play the Dublin Olympia

Tim & the chaps are treating us to an early Christmas present in December

Read More

Ash on TIDAL, Pledgemusic and the expense of vinyl

The Downpatrick trio miss the old "sense of ownership" that came with records.

Read More

Ash Interview

Back! Back!! BACK!!! in long-playing form, Ash talk rejuvenation, dealing with the machine and how these days they only compete with themselves.

Read More

Free Music Friday

With the country positively basking in sunshine - we were hotter yesterday than parts of Spain - Free Music Friday slather on the Factor 30 and brings you another scorching collection of tunes, streams, videos and trailers.

Read More

Ash - Kablammo!

Ash on fire for their comeback album.

Read More

Ash break into Top 3 on Irish Indie Chart

Faith No More are this week's number one.

Read More

Ash confirmed for Tower album launch

Q&A and in-store performance lined up for Dawson St. next month

Read More

Tim Wheeler talks Slane past and present

They supported U2 there a decade ago, and are getting a second bite of the Slane cherry courtesy of the Foos. Tim Wheeler tells us why Lord Henry’s gaff is so special.

Read More

Tim Wheeler on his friendship with Dave Grohl

Ash join headliners the Foo Fighters at Slane on May 30.

Read More

Ash announce album details

Their first proper studio album in eight years will be with us this summer.

Read More

Ash & The Strypes to support Foo Fighters

Irish acts added to Slane bill.

Read More

Indiependence make first line-up announcement

There's good news for Ash, Mark Lanegan, The Dandy Warhols & Jape fans!

Read More

LISTEN: New Ash track

They've also announced Dublin and Belfast shows...

Read More

Tim Wheeler confirms new Ash album on the way

Speaking to Hot Press on the imminent release of his first solo outing Lost Domain (which deals with the death of his father), the Ash frontman reassured us it is not the end for the Northern Irish rockers.

Read More

Sound Of Belfast takes place this November

Things kick off with a Tim Wheeler solo gig on November 7.

Read More

Tim Wheeler announces album, shares track

Former Ash frontman going it alone.

Read More

DOWNLOAD: Ash celebrate Star Wars Day with free tune

Ash celebrated May The Fourth… by giving away the belting ‘There Is Hope Again’ from their A To Z series of singles.

Read More

DOWNLOAD: New version of Ash's 'Jack Names The Planets' for the day that's in it!

Ash celebrate – if that’s the appropriate word! – Ash Wednesday with a one-day only free download of ‘Jack Names The Planets’, which has been re-recorded for the occasion.

Read More

Ash to cruise with Weezer

The Northern Irish legends will be joining Rivers Cuomo for some tropical fun.

Read More

Ashes to be released on DVD this Monday

The Tim Wheeler and Ilan Eshkeri scored 2012 film hits the shops on January 28.

Read More

Ash go live

How does the idea of watching Ash play a live acoustic set from the comfort of your own living room sound?

Read More

LISTEN: New EP from ASH

Listen to Little Infinity for FREE with Hot Press.

Read More

Ash Release Covers EP

To coincide with their 20th anniversary celebrations, Ash release Little Infinity, an EP of cover versions.

Read More

Tim Wheeler guests on Kestrels album

The Ash frontman lends his vocals to ‘Dumb Angel’.

Read More

Ash honoured in the Great Northern Songbook Poll

'Shining Light' is more popular than the likes of 'Teenage Kicks', according to BBC Radio Ulster.

Read More

Ash for Helium Music Festival

One and done for their Irish festival frolics in 2012...

Read More

Rockin' for a cause

Belfast concert raises funds to fight Alzheimer's

Read More

WATCH: Tim Wheeler talks to Hot Press

An exclusive sit-down with everyone's favourite Downpatrick rocker...

Read More

Tim and Emmy celebrate Christmas

Emmy The Great and the Ash frontman have collaborated on This Is Christmas and you can get the first track now.

Read More

Excitement mounts as Belfast Music Week approaches

Over 130 events will take place around the city at the end of the month.

Read More

Arthur's Day, Belfast live review

A report back from Ulster Hall's festivities...

Read More

Ash, The Divine Comedy and The Undertones for Belfast charity gig

They will each perform one of their classic albums in sequence.

Read More

Ash to release Best Of

The alt-rockers will release Best Of Ash on October 14 ahead of their gig at The Academy on October 18.

Read More

Ash announce special October gig

The alt-rockers will play a Free All Angels gig in Dublin’s Academy on October 18.

Read More

Ash announce anniversary tour

Charlotte Hatherley will rejoin the boys for three shows in October.

Read More

Ash to ashes

Tim Wheeler on visiting Sligo, his soundtrack project, new Ash material and why he’s translating ‘Kung Fu’ into Japanese.

Read More

Tim Wheeler set for Willowstone

Ash man goes acoustic at July arts and music festival

Read More

Ash, live at Whelan's

Downpatrick rockers bring down the house

Read More

New Ash single for download

'Running To The Ocean' available now

Read More

Ash, Stereo MCs and Aslan to headline Temple House Music & Arts Festival

Over 120 acts to descend on Sligo in June

Read More

Tim Wheeler to soundtrack Coldplay-funded film

Read More

Ash add Belfast and Portrush dates this summer

The trio will follow up their Whelan's gig with two further June shows

Read More

Ash announce Whelan's date

Downpatrick's finest will make their way to Dublin this Summer

Read More

Tim Wheeler Songwriter Session in Belfast

The Ash mainman will be at the Oh Yeah music centre on January 11

Read More

Ash headline Murphy's Big Night Out

The group will be joined on the stage in Cork by Cathy Davey, Fight Like Apes and more

Read More

Free Ash download EP

The band also play a major London headliner this week.

Read More

A-Z Volume 2

Ash returns with latest singles collection

Read More

Ash release second A-Z album

The chaps are also getting seriously smoochy on their new single!

Read More

Ash in the Hot Press Signing Tent

Ash in the Hot Press Signing Tent

Read More

Ash announce Oxegen warm-up show in Belfast

They're playing the Oh Yeah Music Centre the day before heading to Punchestown.

Read More

Ash offer free tracks to A to Z subscribers

And they're popping in to the Hot Press Signing Tent at Oxegen!

Read More

Ash horror movie finally surfaces online

Charlotte gets its with an axe while Chris Martin investigates!

Read More

Free Ash downloads

They've also unleashed letter 'Q' in their A to Z series of singles.

Read More

Singles Going Steady

Patrick Freyne interviews Ash about reinvention and 21st century music making.

Read More

A-Z Volume 1

Downpatrick reinvent the album as alphabet soup

Read More

Bloc Party's Russell Lissack joins Ash

The guitarist will accompany the Northern Irish band on their upcoming UK tour.

Read More

Ash confirm old school CD release

A-Z Vol. 1 is out on April 16.

Read More

Ash to headline free Dublin gig

Tickets for the 7up Paddy’s Day Party are up for grabs now!

Read More

Live Ash web gig

The boys will be broadcasting live from New York on Wednesday night.

Read More

1977

Read More

Ash

Read More

Ash live at The Button Factory

Tim Wheeler and co rock the rafters of Temple Bar and our snapper Ruth was on hand to catch the action

Read More

Ash announce Irish shows

There are also 26 new songs to look forward to!

Read More

Ash release new single

They're also embarking on an A-Z Tour of the UK.

Read More

Ash release new video

It's a cracking cartoon jobby for 'Return Of White Rabbit'.

Read More

Ash kick off alphabet single series with free download

'Return Of The White Rabbit', released today, marks the launch of the band's A-Z Series, which will commence in September.

Read More

Ash add extra London date

The 'Burn Baby Burn' boys are to play a second night at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, London on Sunday June 7.

Read More

Ash get covered by Annie Lennox

It’s not a news story we ever expected to write, but Annie Lennox has covered an Ash song as one of the bonus cuts on her new ‘Best Of’.

Read More

Full line-up confirmed for Glasgowbury

Mojo Fury, the Delawares and Ed Zealous are among the acts now confirmed for the one-day Derry festival, which will be led by Northern legends Ash.

Read More

Ash to headline Glasgowbury

Ash will headline Draperstown's Glasgowbury festival in Derry this July.

Read More

Ash announce Galway gig

Ash have pencilled in a date for this summer's Galway Arts Festival.

Read More

Ash to rock NYC on St. Patrick's Day

Ash will be joining the front benches of Dail Eireann in the grand tradition of the St. Patrick's Day exodus this year.

Read More

Ash announce December dates

Ash will be coming home for some live dates this December.

Read More

End Of The World

Are Ash reinventing themselves as some kind of Sparklehorse/Super Furry Animals hybrid? Because, on the strength of this single, you’d swear they’d pulled off just such a transformation. They’ve given free rein to their pop sensibilities with a chorus as wide as an open horizon, while the Beatles plunge that leads into the second verse certainly shivered my timbers. Elsewhere, the guitar solo flickers to a blaze big enough to convince us that the Ash we know and love are still in there somewhere. It’s a belter – the sound of a summer we haven’t yet been given.

Read More

Ash announce autumn tour

Ash take to the road this October to promote their new album Twilight of the Innocents.

Read More

Wheeler-ing the years

30th Anniversary Retrospective: On the eve of the release of their fifth album, Ash talk longevity, writing songs in Bono’s summer house and why Twilight Of The Innocents is not a pipe-and-slippers album.

Read More

Ash stop releasing albums

Twilight Of The Innocents, out July 2, will be Ash’s last album, says frontman Tim Wheeler. But the band are not planning to split.

Read More

Ash play Belfast in-store

Ash are playing an in-store gig in HMV, Belfast this month.

Read More

Polaris

Written in France at Bono’s house, no less, it seems that all the excitement of meeting the man himself made Tim Wheeler forget the basics of creating a song. Stuff like melody. Remember that Tim? From a band who brought us ballads as strong as ‘Oh Yeah’ and ‘Shining Light’, anything less than perfection is a disappointment, and this is a wishy-washy track that’s as uninventive with the string section as is with the lyrics. Cool packaging though.

Read More

Ash to split?

Ash have given an onstage indication that the new album may well be their last.

Read More

Ash seek scribe

Not content with selling out gigs all over the shop, Ash are looking for someone to edit their official fanzine.

Read More

Ash live at the Stiff Kitten, Belfast

It’s a forbidding date – no I’m not talking about Friday the 13th, I’m referring to Ash’s first Belfast date proper since the departure of guitarist Charlotte Hatherley.

Read More

Ash announce intimate Irish shows

The Downpatrick band Ash have announced a trio of smaller-than-usual gigs on home turf.

Read More

World Exclusive: Ash to headline Red Bull's Slane event

Hot Press can exclusively reveal the bill that accompanies the Red Bull X-Fighter Freestyle Motocrosss bash at Slane Castle - the headliner of which is Ash.

Read More

Ash to headline Trinity Ball line-up

The line-up for the always-stellar Trinity Ball has been announced, with Ash headlining.

Read More

Ash dish out free download

Downpatrick trio Ash are preparing for their new album release in a highly generous way - by offering a fans a free taster.

Read More

Ash ready new LP

Ash have confirmed that their first post-Charlotte Hatherley album will be coming out in March.

Read More

Ash reveal new album details

Downpatrick’s finest, Ash, are back in the studio, recording the follow-up to 2004’s Meltdown.

Read More

Ash reveal plans for new album

Tim Wheeler has been talking about the new Ash album, which looks like emerging in 2007.

Read More

Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley goes solo

After several weeks of will she/won’t she speculation, Charlotte Hatherley has left Ash to pursue her solo career.

Read More

Liverpudlian honour for Ash - picture exclusive

There was much quaffing of champagne in the Ash camp last week as Sir Paul McCartney presented Tim Wheeler with an honorary companionship at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

Read More

Ash in tour bus fire near-miss

Not one but two of their tour buses caught on fire during Ash's recent American jaunt

Read More

Tennent’s ViTal Presents Ash in Newry

Free and intimate: Ash play Newry later this month

Read More

Ash announce Belfast date

In town for their U2 support show, Ash have announced a headline date at the Spring & Airbrake

Read More

Ash to support U2 on final Dublin date

Ash have been confirmed as U2's special guests for their third date at Croke Park

Read More

Ash cancel 'e-album' release

Ash have pulled the planned release of a download-only mini-album, Evil Eye

Read More

US release + tour: big things ahead for Ash

Not content with touring their album around the United States, Ash are also set to infiltrate the world of video games

Read More

Ash set for mini-tour: Limerick & Waterford confirmed

Having been pounding the festival beat since Oxegen (taking in trips to the likes of Hungary & Japan!) Ash have confirmed an Autumnal return to Irish shores.

Read More

Superstar threesome in the making

Tim Wheeler, Justin Hawkins and Har Mar Superstar may well be joining forces if Charlotte Hatherly is to be believed...

Read More

Meltdown

Recorded in sunny California, under the sonic supervision of Nick ‘Foo Fighters’ Raskulinecz, Ash’s fourth studio album is one big-sounding, drums-pounding, amps-to-eleven, NOISY MOTHERFUCKER of a record (as the irate neighbour said to the policeman).

Read More

Operation rock and awe starts here..

Having dominated the charts here for the past ten years, Ash are gearing up for a full-scale invasion of America. Stuart Clark dons his hard hat as Tim, Mark, Rick and Charlotte tell him about their new record of mass destruction Meltdown, and the A-list celebrity company they’ve been keeping in the city of angels.

Read More

Ash live in Dublin

As is often the case when bands have a whole host of new material they're itching to try out, the crowd become slightly restless midway through the evening. The Meltdown material sounds great, but there's no getting around the fact that we've come to hear the old favourites, and the band know it.

Read More

Ash to play Downpatrick homecoming gig

Tim Wheeler is thrilled to announce Ash's first hometown gig in ten years

Read More

Ash to play Belfast's Music Live festival

Wheeler and company will be rocking the floating pontoon on May 1 as part of the BBC Music Live festival

Read More

Chris Martin joins Ash

Well sort of ... Not content with priming their Meltdown album for April release, Ash have recorded a cover of the Buzzcocks' 'Everybody's Happy Nowadays' with one C. Martin on backing-vocals.

Read More

Ash to play one-off gig at the Temple Bar Music Centre

April 22 will see Ash play their very first, very anticipated gig of the year

Read More

Ash download for sale on website

Get a taste of Ash: their new tune 'Clones' will become available to download from their official website

Read More

Ash reveal details of new album + tour

Ash's forthcoming album comes with a warning from Tim Wheeler: "It'll tear your face off."

Read More

Donna Summer clocking Primal Scream, the Boy Wonder and killer psycho tunes

Confused? Don't be - it's just a day in the life of Ash

Read More

Ash: preview of forthcoming album + Charlotte Hatherley's solo album

Guitarist Charlotte Hatherley is making solo jaunts on the side of Ash

Read More

Ash to record fourth album this Autumn

Tim Wheeler and co will be heading into the studio in Los Angeles with Foo Fighters producer Nick Raskulinecz

Read More

Ash rumoured to play Vital festival

Sources reveal Ash will headline Day 2 of the Belfast festival in September

Read More

Tim Wheeler hospitalised

The Ash singer goes ahead with show despite an arm infection

Read More

Ash play Park with Robbie

Ash have confirmed reports that they're opening for Robbie Williams in August when he descends on the Phoenix Park.

Read More

Ash for questions

Tim Wheeler reveals plans for a big outdoor summer gig

Read More

Apetite for destruction

Ash make their TV debut with a half-hour celluloid opus entitled Ash: Love And Destruction

Read More

Ash radio documentary

The quartet rock out BBC Radio Ulster

Read More

U2 to take over the globe!

(Well, the Golden ones anyway)

Read More

'I'm On Drugs', say Ash

The quartet release limited edition vinyl

Read More

Angels with dirty faces

It’s all about broken down tour buses, Alan Partridge, high speed collisions, Moby, broken ribs, Mina Suvari, MTV stars and David Bowie as Ash launch a sonic assault on America. So riddle me this: can Ireland’s hardest-working rock’n’roll outfit crack the big one?

Read More

Intergalactic Sonic Sevens

Intergalactic Sonic Seven's (soon to be followed by a B-side compilation) is a collection of absoloutely cracking tunes that might just bring the acclaim that has so far escaped Ash in the US

Read More

The rocky horror picture show

Ash somehow cajole James Nesbitt, Dave Grohl and (next victim!) Chris Martin into appearing in their homemade "crazy teen slasher" short

Read More

"We were woken up - things were flying everywhere"

Tim Wheeler out of Ash recounts their near-miss in America. Meanwhile, the worst of their injuries - drummer Rick's - may cost them Reading and Leeds slots

Read More

Close call

Ash involved in highway accident in northwestern US - and very lucky to escape serious injury

Read More

Plan 7 From Outer Space

Ash release Intergalactic Sonic 7"s best-of collection - and we've got a preview of the cover art right here

Read More

Envy

Read More

Go on the lads! (and Charlotte)

Ash get great reviews on Moby's Area:2 tour of the US - not least from Moby himself

Read More

Mixed grill: Ash

You cook them, we serve them up in the Q&A cantina. At the table to answer the questions posed, in our second serving this fortnight, by members of hotpress.com: Ash

Read More

Shining lights

To celebrate their tenth birthday, Ash are releasing a Best Of double CD, jammed with their 17 ass-kicking singles and featuring "selected highlights" from the B-sides. The title? "We don't have one at the moment," says Tim, "so if anyone's got a good idea, send them to us"

Read More

Submit your questions to Ash!

Got questions for Ash? Tim Wheeler and Rick McMurray are ready, willing, able and waiting eagerly to help you with those. Give 'em here

Read More

Energy to burn, baby, burn

Farewell, not-so-sweet Dreamworks: Ash ink US deal with Kinetic (home of Timo Maas, Paul Oakenfold & South)

Read More

Ash! Bang! Wallop!

They came, they saw, they conquered - again. Ash's comeback kid Tim Wheeler looks back over a spectacular year. Angel interceptor: Kim Porcelli

Read More

Ash on delivery

Prior to their dates in the Ambassador comes the unleashing of Tokyo Blitz, an hour-long DVD

Read More

Ash, Bang, Wallop!

Muse opened up the Heineken Weekender in Galway with an emotionally charged show. Offerings included the wonderful ‘Uno’, current hit ‘New Born’ and a selection of hard-hitting tunes from 1999’s Showbiz album.

Read More

Free All Angels

Sixteen is a state of mind that, like that summer feeling, haunts you the rest of your life. It’s a quickening of stirrings into one overwhelming surge of sense and sensuality: cars, girls, noise, boys, surf, sand and sea breezes.

Read More

Numbskull

When I first started showing a real interest in music, and buying 7'' singles every week in Downpatrick's 'Sounds' for my 99p pocket money, videos weren't as available.

Read More

Ash/Chicks

New girl Charlotte Hatherly was magnificent...

Read More

Trailer

Of all their undeniable qualities, it is Ash’s bone dry sense of humour and their eye for unnervingly absurd detail that bodes most auspiciously for their long-term future.

Read More

Jack Names The Planets”/”Don’t Know

Ash: “Jack Names The Planets”/”Don’t Know” (La La Land)

Read More
 

Advertise With Us


For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below

Advertise

Find us elsewhere