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Solid Rock House Records

Three years on from El­e­gant Stealth, Wish­bone Ash are back with the same per­son­nel, and a real re­turn to form. Gui­tarist/ vo­cal­ist Andy Pow­ell may be the last re­main­ing mem­ber from the orig­i­nal band, but his play­ing has al­ways been a huge part of the de­fin­i­tive sound. Muddy Man­ni­nen has been the sec­ond lead gui­tarist since 2004, so is also well es­tab­lished. More of a Lau­rie Wise­field than a Ted Turner, he gets a good out­ing on Deep Blues. Take It Back is pure Ash with vo­cal and gui­tar har­monies pitched ex­actly where they should be. Strange ( How Things Come Back Around) has a more con­tem­po­rary feel, and lyri­cally seems to be telling the story of the band – a fine song and very nicely con­structed. The mix­ture of clas­sic Ash- style ma­te­rial and to­day’s band is what this al­bum is clearly all about, so while the ti­tle track is more rep­re­sen­ta­tive of re­cent ma­te­rial, the open­ing of All There Is To Say is rem­i­nis­cent of Throw Down The Sword. It’s prob­a­bly the best way for the band to go, and there’s so much that’s new here, it re­ally is a fine re­lease for Ash’s army of fans.

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