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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOAH
Ash were my first rock band and i've always loved everything they've done i love all the albums but nothing prepare me for this beauty:
1.Meltdown: This is the opener and shows the rifftastic new sound the band have developed.
2.Orpheus: You should know this bye now!
3.Evil eye: a kinda sing a long song shows the pop-rock roots
4.Clones: 1 word;...
Published on 21 May 2004 by Matt Niner

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Heavy but not happy!
Ive always had a soft spot for ASH having got into them via the Girl From Mars single i bought all their following albums and really stayed with them on Nu-Clear Sounds which i think is their greatest work.
However i lost interest on Free All Angels, only a few numbers stood out for me, namely Sometimes, Candy and the sexxxy Burn Baby Burn.They became a pop band and...
Published on 15 Feb 2009 by Gilgamesh


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOAH, 21 May 2004
By 
Matt Niner (cheshunt, hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Meltdown (Audio CD)
Ash were my first rock band and i've always loved everything they've done i love all the albums but nothing prepare me for this beauty:
1.Meltdown: This is the opener and shows the rifftastic new sound the band have developed.
2.Orpheus: You should know this bye now!
3.Evil eye: a kinda sing a long song shows the pop-rock roots
4.Clones: 1 word; AMAZING
5.Starcrossed: a really pretty ballad the end is breathtaking
6.Out of the blue: Shows the new side to Ash i love this song full stop
7. Renegade cavalcade: shows a nice mix between new ash and old ash
8.Detonator: a cool song with an awesome solo
9. On a wave: reminded me of projects from nu-clear sounds with the vocals but one of my favourites easily greta song
10.Won't be saved: its like free all angels was realeased yesterday
11.Vampire love: i didnt expect much from this song but wow its my favourite on the cd one of my fave ash songs ever!
just get the cd and realise how the best can get better!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So predictable, 21 May 2004
This review is from: Meltdown (Audio CD)
Predictable in that, being an Ash album, you can guarantee it will be excellent...
Here's a summary of the tracks:
1. Meltdown: Thunderous opener that more or less lays down the blueprint for the album. Guitars rage throughout the track, and it gives a pretty good idea what to expect in the rest of the album. 9/10
2. Orpheus: The first single, and given that it's been played to death on more or less every radio station in the country, you're likely to be familiar with it. The crunching guitars and tribal drums are formidable, but there is a slight feeling that it was churned out with intent of being "the single"... 8/10
3. Evil Eye: Probable third single (although it could end up being released before Starcrossed), this is the closest Ash have come to recapturing Oh Yeah, and works incredibly well in a Pixies style quiet bass verse, loud guitar chorus fashion. Unlikely to leave your head once it's lodged in there. 10/10
4. Clones: The internet only single that made everyone wonder what had happened to that nice pop band Ash. It is as heavy as they've ever been, and incredibly catchy - likely to have you bouncing around the room. 10/10
5. Starcrossed: This is the heartbreak song that occurs on every Ash album, although this time it's flawless. Imagine Sometimes from Free All Angels, but executed properly. Piano and all, this is the mid paced balad that's likely to fuel a million more teenage girls in their obsession for Mr Wheeler. Probable second single 10/10
6. Out Of The Blue: Uptempo tune with decent melody and a catcy chorus. Sounds a bit like Burn Baby Burn, but without that killer hook line. Bit of a disappointment after the previous three tracks. 8/10
7. Renegade Cavalcade: Again there are major Pixies influences to this track, and it has a trademark Tim Wheeler chorus that is as good as anything he's ever done. 9/10
8. Detonator: This one really shows up the influence of the producer, who's worked with the Foo Fighters. An impressive drum beat throughout and soaring guitar lines, fused with yet anoher killer chorus make this one of the album's highlights 10/10
9. On A Wave: Good uptempo rock song, but in the company of the rest of the album it falters. Solid, but not incredible 7/10
10. Won't Be Saved: Just when you thought they wouldn't do it, Ash make a song reminiscent of Walking Barefoot, just like any Free All Angels fan would have been hoping. Awesome backing voclas by Charlotte and a likely fourth single. 9/10
11. Vampire Love: Seemingly the rhythm section, Rick and Mark, are slightly confused on this one. They seem to think they're in the Smashing Pumpking all of a sudden. The result is a song that sounds like Zero from Mellon Collie... but actually has a chorus to speak of. Tim's best guitar solo, and a great dynamic throughout make this just about the best track on the album. 10/10
Overall, as the marks I've given each track suggest, this is an outstanding album. If I had any qualms, it would be that the opener isn't upto the normal gobsmacking Ash standards (on all three previous albums the first track has been excellent: Lose Control on 1977, Projects on Nu-clear Sounds and Walking Barefoot on Free All Angels) and is very good rather than excellent. Also, the b-side to Orpheus (Tinseltown) really should have been included. It is a nine minute epic that would have rouned off the album in spectacular style, and judging by the sleeve notes for Meltdown it was inteded at some point to be the closer. I highly recommend buying the single just to get hold of this track, which quite frankly I reckon would have been the best track on here if it was included.
These are nonetheless fairly minor qualms when you consider that Meltdown is an album that most bands would kill to have as their "Best Of". Ash are truly essential, and it's great to have them back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ash Meltdown, 26 May 2004
Best thing Ash have ever done.Their new heavier sound totally suits them.By far the most interesting album of 2004.Renders the 'skip' button on your CD player totally useless,as there's not one dissapointing track on the whole album.It totally rocks!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ash - Meltdown, 21 May 2004
Genius. Pure bloody genius. This album is one of the best albums i've heard in a long time. Everybody should own this album it fills you with a sense of pure joy everytime you listen to it, as I'm sure it did when they made this record. I've always liked Ash but now I adore them, unbelieveable. There is not one bad song on the album, I LOVE IT!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing, 18 May 2004
By 
S. Blackmore (Newbury) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Meltdown (Audio CD)
This is undoubtedly the best album Ash has produced, although the others are brilliant too. Right from very first song "Meltdown" you realise you're in for a treat and no song on the album disappoints. This is the sort of album where the volume keeps getting turned up, and you'll find yourself singalong to the very infectious lyrics. It consists of mainly explosive rock tracks, and with it a new sound that brings together styles from previous albums as well as a more thunderous edge to their rock. All the songs stand out and it's difficult to pick out the highlights, but two of the best are Meltdown and Orpheus. The album shows that true quality that is Ash, and also proves that they'll be around for a long time!
A must buy for any Ash fan, or anyone who likes decent rock music full stop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erm... Well... What can I say...?, 17 May 2004
By 
J. D. Ludlow (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Meltdown (Audio CD)
Well, the first word that comes to mind is "wow". Erm, yes, that's the best I can do to catch this thing in one sentence.
What, you want more? Oh, all right then. Just because I'm nice.
Ash have obviously done a heck of a lot of work on this - how Rick McMurray's drums lasted the course I have no idea. Tim Wheeler has also taken his guitar playing to a whole new level, and this album has some riffs that are a simple pleasure to behold. Whereas in earlier albums it sometimes felt as if it was all about to fall apart, the screws were that loose (Kung Fu anyone, or maybe Candy?), this album is just sheer class from start to finish, and often feels like a different band.
Having said that, it's classic Ash style. The opening title track will feel immediately comfortable to any Ash fan. Orpheus has been compared by some with Shining Light (though I don't remember Shining Light's drums being quite like that). Evil Eye is the new Envy. And so it continues, song after song. It's all the familiar stuff - the best from earlier albums - just pumped full of adrenaline and set alight.
This is Ash coming of age. Be impressed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting direction..., 15 Jun 2007
This review is from: Meltdown (Audio CD)
Ash were one of those bands that were propelled into stardom at a very young age, thrust into the limelight after their explosive debut, '1977'. Widely regarded as one of the finest pop/punk-rock albums of the time, Ash were hailed as being at the forefront of a new wave of music. However, since those heady first days, their sound has altered and evolved, via some good tracks, some bad tracks, and some that ventured in between. Right now, with a new album out and touring some of the student unions in the UK, Ash's fourth studio album, 'Meltdown', remains a bit of an enigma.

Why shift away from the poppy formula that served them so well with 'Free All Angels', or the loose energy of '1977'. Nobody can really understand a band's evolution save for the band itself, but in this case...I think it's both good and bad. In my opinion, whilst 'Meltdown' is an excellent album in itself, and has far more depth than previous albums, it lacks the killer instinct that both of the aforementioned albums had. There are a few standout tracks here, but generally, the album as a whole fits more coherently together an entire entity, rather than a bundle of hit tracks to listen to every now and again. If you want the true 'Meltdown' experience, you need to listen to the whole album.

As Amazon's description states (and many other reviewers on this site have observed), Meltdown is a hell of a lot heavier than anything Ash have done before. This is good, in the sense that they still have some really solid tracks that are great to rock along to, but they do lose some catchiness in some areas, fading away from the 'poppy' sound of Free All Angels. This is by no means a bad thing, and some things never change. Wheeler's voice is in good nick here, tuneful but also as powerful as it was on FAA (and is ably backed up by Hatherly's vocals, too), whilst the pair interplay well on the guitars. Nothing particularly complex that'll make you boggle in amazement, but they definitely know how to write some catchy and fun riffs, and the parts of the song fit very well together. Perhaps the largest improvement from previous albums is McMurray's drumming, which is now of the highest order, driving the songs along rather than simply keeping up a decent tempo- this is one of the main reasons that the album is that little bit heavier than before. And of course, Hamilton's steady bass remains just that, sandwiched between the belting of the drums and the heavier guitar riffs.

Now, onto the tracks! To avoid making this review ridiculously long, I'll try and skip over each one, but only giving a brief description. The title track opens up the album, and is a pretty decent opening, representative of the album as a whole. Those familiar with Free All Angels will notice that things are already a fair bit heavier, with the drums prominent in this one. However, things quickly shift into a higher gear with the introduction of 'Orpheus', the albums leadoff single, one that did fairly well in the charts and got considerable radio airplay. 'Orpheus' is about as light as it's going to get on this album, with the song much lighter than most others, much more reminiscent of the old Ash sound. 'Evil Eye' follows, which is a pretty decent song, but nothing to set the world alight- again, interplaying between light picking and heavy riffs. However, the first real hammerblow in this album is 'Clones', easily the heaviest song I've ever heard from Ash, with far darker lyrics, too. It's hard to describe it aside from that, you really have to listen to it- it's a very good song. Last song I'm going to describe is 'Starcrossed', the last 'type' of song on the album, if you will. This is far more guitar-driven, with a relatively epic solo late on (by Ash standards), and is much more of a ballad along the lines of 'Sometimes' or 'There's a Star' from Free All Angels. Very interesting, and very good.

So, after lavishing praise upon the album, why haven't I given 'Meltdown' the maximum rating? Well...in my opinion, all things are relative. Whilst 'Meltdown' is certainly worthy of 5 stars as a stand-alone album, I have to be an honest reviewer and point towards previous albums as I review this one, comparing as I go. 'Meltdown' was a brave and fascinating decision by Wheeler and company, mainly as it stretched their imaginations and challenged them to make a new album brimming with attitude. However, they also drifted notably away from a tried-and-tested formula that had worked on Free All Angels, an album which I consider to be their magnum opus. Putting it brutally, I honestly don't think that this album packs quite the punch that the last one did. But! This is still an excellent album in its own right, and I highly recommend it- you can rarely go wrong with an Ash album, and 'Meltdown' is not an album that bucks this trend. =)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing- the best ash album by far!!!, 6 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This album is amazing and album is far from being "weak"! There is not one bad song on the album, and starcrossed is awesome. Go and buy this album its the best album of the year so far!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic album!, 2 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Meltdown (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of Ash since 1995, when I first heard Girl From Mars. I loved 1977, their full-length debut album. Then along came Nu-Clear Sounds. I was so disappointed - where was all the catchy punk-pop? Then it came back, albeit in a more mature form, in Free All Angels. And here it is again in Meltdown. I can honestly say I love all the tracks on this album - and I can only say that about a handful of other albums I own.
The overall sound is quite heavy, but combine that with the catchy choruses and you have a fantastic album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ash finally come of age, 20 May 2004
By 
This review is from: Meltdown (Audio CD)
When Ash burst on the scene with "1977" everyone, quite rightly, fell at their feet. 1977 gave birth to many many songs that just ARE summer in many respects, and this was the mood that definied Ash's early sound.

Follow up "Nu-Clear Sounds" sounds may have been a public fall from grace, but at least the band where trying to hone their sound. Each album has tweaked the sounds of the last a little to produce something new, but something undoubtedly Ash.
"Free All Angels", and more specifically the song "Burn Baby Burn" re-ignited the public's love for the pop rock band everyone could enjoy. Dripping in melodies and cool riffs, it laid the foundation for "Meltdown".
There one word that follows Ash everywhere, and that word is "infectious". Meltdown is equally as infectious as all Ash albums. Similarly, it has just the same amount of pop hooks and blissful melodies that are Ash's trademark. So what is the big furore?
Quite simply, this album ROCKS. Suddenly the riffs on all other Ash albums sounds pale in comparision as this time the little band from Ireland pull out all the stops and powerhouse their way through the melodies. Opener "Meltdown" is a clear statement of intent, a riff that could force even a baby to headbang, yet a chorus so beautifully pop you'll sing it for days. Just when you dont think they can top the title track, "Orpheus" does just that.
"Evil Eye" is more classic Ash, except (and you realise this as you listen) the bass and drums sounds much more HUGE this time around. "Clones" starts with a riff that wouldn't be out of place in a nu-metal band, except Ash make it entirely theirs, underpining it with the dual vocals of Tim Wheeler and Charlotte Hatherley to sucessfully stamp their own style on it. "Starcrossed" is this album's "Shining Light", a hint of ballard, a hint of a tear jerker, a soothing rock riff.
And so it continues. Each song is a wonderful example of how to fuse power chords with pop melodies, ("Detonator" is just, well, explosive!) and there are even some fantastic wailing screeching solos to turn the albumn away from the "great" classification, and cement it soundly into the "outstanding" pedastal.
It's not necessarily new (the Wildhearts have been doing it for over 12 years now) but Ash pull it off with such enjoyable aplomb that you would be fool to pass up Meltdown. An album, that like 1977, will surely become synonomous with the summer.
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