Conrad Ashton’s re-release and repurposing of their 2020 track ‘Those Were The Days’ takes a pleasant indie-acoustic release and explodes it outwards into a catchy and thumping piece of stadium rock that wouldn’t feel out of place slotted in beside ‘The Pretender’ and ‘Everlong’.
Maintaining its sultry acoustic beginnings, warming synths accompany an intro that seems almost unaltered from its original form. Then, as gang vocals beef out the delivery your thumped square between your eyes by the pummelling introduction of a full band backline. Old school rock ‘n’ roll bleeds into the fond memories of UK britpop, then into anthemic noughties riff lead alt rock, giving Conrad Ashton the unique ability to slot this song into 3-4 decades without it feeling out of place.
This is a real example of stepping up a track and transforming it into a real crowd pleaser, energy raiser, and an opportunity to get an audience belting the words back at you. It’s uplifting, and credit must be given to the band for taking a look back to 2020 and going, ‘d’ya know what, let’s have another crack at that and see what we can do with it’. From time to time you see bands release acoustic versions of tracks from past releases to varying degrees of success…but it’s rare to see that in reverse, and to have such a strong degree of success in the process.
CA’s well applied integration of synth lines that warm the space between guitar and bass, ebbing and flowing verse guitar lines, and what feels like a very necessary solo towards its close is refreshing and enjoyable. This doesn’t feel like a re-release, and what I mean by that is ‘Those Were The Days’ (in its new format) stands tall off its own back.