Ash Palmer’s 2nd EP of 2018 showcases great Britpop inspired song-writing, but I can’t help but feel that this is a step back for the ‘Last Mod in Manchester’ compared to his work ‘The Godlike Highs’ earlier in the year.
Don’t get me wrong, there are tracks on this EP that I’m a huge fan of. Opener ‘The Streets Where We Survive’ exudes real attitude and angst that I’m crying out for throughout the rest of the release.
It’s riffy, there’s clever use of vocal effects that add suspense, but also a conversational aspect to Ash’s delivery. Production is a high quality vs. DIY battle.
Unfortunately, the following 3 songs pass me by with little effect, and honestly I think it’s a shame that this EP doesn’t hit the heights that it set itself up to hit. Track 3 ‘I Was Always Wrong’, for me, cries out for a full band backing, to give it the oomph it needs to transform from quaint acoustic head-bobber into a bouncing anthemic indie track.
It’s close to something that could’ve been great, but as well as not capitalising on potential, it drops the energy levels that this EP needs to keep you interested. The subsequent jump back to electric in ‘The Girl with the Evergreen Eyes’ doesn’t rekindle the energy that’s been lost.
But then we have ‘She Needs to Fly’, a track much in the same vain as Ash’s EP opener. It’s full of energy, a chorus that soars and boars its way into your memory, and I can easily imagine it being belted out at any of Manchester’s fantastic independent venues.
This is what I wanted so much more of! Closing with the slow acoustic ballad ‘300 days’, a genuinely emotive song (lighters in the air kinda vibe), this EP is like a chicken sandwich with no mayo, but imagine the bread is really, really nice (M&S level stuff).
Rearrange the filling, chuck in a few tomatoes and some lettuce, and some goddamn sauce… then Ash Palmer will be onto a winner. For now, 2018’s 2nd EP might have been better released as a couple of singles, but either way, I’m intrigued to see what 2019 has to offer.