Album review: Ash - The Best Of

Better than you might remember, this charts the Northern Irish band’s arc from excitable, anthemic pop-rock through some brutal Millennial riffage to commercial experimentation.

Ash released a best of - Intergalactic Sonic 7”s - way back in 2002. So why bother with this when the band’s output has been patchy ever since, and they’re already hitting the nostalgia circuit?

Well, for the uninitiated, the hits from breakout album 1977 remain brilliantly gutsy and compelling.

And this dumps almost half the tracks of its predecessor – though Wild Surf and Sometimes stubbornly refuse to budge – in favour of cuts from their fruitful A-Z singles series and some brutal riffage in Clones and Orpheus from 2004’s Meltdown.

Jack Names The Planets, re-recorded for 2011, sounds just as vital, making this an essential introduction for new fans.

An unreleased documentary, narrated by Ewan McGregor, charting the journey to 1977’s success will tempt the faithful too.

4 stars