Thursday, November 01, 2007

CD of the Day, 11/1/07: Ash Avenue-And Then We Ignite

Ah, the 90s. Aside from being a decade of relative peace and prosperity, it was the last decade in which you could reliably turn on the radio and hear decent pop/rock from bands like The Gin Blossoms, Collective Soul, The Wallflowers, Del Amitri, Fastball, Better Than Ezra, etc. Nowadays the only time I turn on the radio is catch a sporting event while I'm out driving. The point I'm making here? Actually, I'm not sure I have a point. Oh yeah - if this were the mid-90s instead of the mid-00s, a band like Chicago's Ash Avenue would have a good shot at some decent radio airplay. Instead, they'll have to rely on touring, word-of-mouth, the internet and the kindness of strangers.

If And Then We Ignite, the band's debut disc, doesn't take you back to the days when Clinton was in office and Bush wasn't (WARNING: analogy only valid for the next 14 months or so), then I'm not sure what will. Anyway, hit radio's loss is your gain here: 12 tracks of quality tunes that straddle the line between power pop and what is now called "adult alternative". "Mistake Me Home" gets things going with a driving sound that's somewhere between the Gin Blossoms and the poppier moments of The Replacements; "Disposable King" is a mid-tempo beauty which wouldn't sound out of place with all of those Teenage Fanclub wannabes I wrote about yesterday; "New Year's Day" is almost pop-punk; "Trash Romance" might have Jakob Dylan wondering if he didn't write it; and "Rise & Shine" is a great Heartland-styled rocker that reminds me of the BoDeans.

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