No Hot Ashes: Hardship Starship

review no hot ashes x1 cong

No Hot Ashes have the potential to be massive. The sound is somewhere between the Libertines and indie bands of that ilk, and slicker pop bands; Kubb maybe. The lyrics are more Busted than Arctic Monkeys. They’ve got something of the classic pop instrumentation of eighties pop bands (even Wham! in places), all presided over by melodic but street urchin vocals.

There is something intrinsically likable to them: they do sunny and upbeat in Salbutamol and solid indie in Extraterrestrial. In Car (“I wish I could buy a car / I’d drive us up to see the stars”) — they manage to rhyme “kissing you” with “my Subaru”. In the outstanding Trouble, the singer talks the intro: “We robbed a bank in Hyde / And told all of the policemen lies / If they won’t buy our / Alibis we’re done”.

Belly Aches is bit Hard-Fi — in fact there’s a general hint about Hard-Fi about it all, with the pop indie having a vague ska feel in places. Hard-Fi famously went from zero to superstardom overnight and paid the price with familiarity soon breeding contempt, a fate you’d not wish on any band. No Hot Ashes don’t quite have the same mastery of quality pop tunes as Hard-Fi (or the same fire as the Dead Sixties, who trod similar ground) but they’re very good, and the sleeve artwork tells you not to take it too seriously.

They’re from Stockport too.

“Stockport: The Final Frontier” says the Press notes.

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About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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