Many of you may not be aware of Ash's fine history, seeing as their first real success Stateside has come with their 2001(UK)/2002(US) album, Free All Angels. However, the quartet (initially a trio from Downpatrick, Northern Ireland) has had a number of top-40 hits in the UK, which they've compiled on the amusingly monikered Intergalactic Sonic 7"s. Compiled of tracks from 1994 (brilliant debut single "Jack Names The Planets") through this year's sole new addition to the hits set, "Envy." Tracks from 2001's UK #1 album make many appearances, too, as Free All Angels weighs in with five top-40 tracks on the compilation: "Shining Light," "There's A Star," "Sometimes," "Candy," and the breakthrough US single, as well as Q Magazine single of the year and NME readers' single of the year, "Burn Baby Burn." There are plenty of earlier tracks, spanning their three prior albums with gems like "Petrol, " "Kung Fu," "Goldfinger," and "Girl From Mars." Whether their new album is the first you've heard of Ash or whether you've been around from the beginning, this compilation is well worth the purchase price, especially as it's paired with a bonus 22-track CD of rarities, B-sides and covers, entitled Cosmic Debris. The band is currently on tour in the US with Dashboard Confessional then head out with Saves The Day, furthering their tireless journey to bring their punk-pop perfection to the kids of the US. Go show them you appreciate their efforts.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN