This is the 16th of 26 exclusive reviews of the A-Z Series by Northern Irish band Ash. Type “Ash” or “A to Z series” into our search engine to find our other articles on this topic.
“Insects, All these insects…” are more than likely the most obscure form of lyrics you’ve heard this year (so far). How? Well listen to this song in a room full of your relatives and watch the outcome unfold! But despite its oddness, “Insects” does feature Ash lashing out some of their best skills.
Intricate guitar chords during the verses feel perfectly suited to allow room for the robust chords during the chorus! Tim Wheeler’s shouts of “you can’t run away from yourself!” shed familiar light on a more personal, tighter side of the band. The track can even be described as having an anthemic quality, which the rebukingly heavy bass helps to ascend the track to enjoyment.
This is a fan-made video by one of our previous guests, Michael Laverick.
This isn’t the best Ash track (or even the most memorable) but certainly has the quality of an A-Z Track, meaning it can stand on its own two feet just fine.
Our guest for this single’s coverage is long time veteran Ash fan Susie Gale who hails from Canada, who was very enthusiastic to talk to us about why she loves Ash!
Randomville: What do you think this track has that either sets it apart or helps it meld well with past Ash tunes?
Susie Gale: I think this song has a bit of an 80s vibe that melds in well with some of the other songs in the A-Z Series that touch on the same influence. I don’t quite know what to make of the lyrics though. When I hear the line about “insects in the city down below,” I get visions of Mira Sorvino being chased in the New York subway by genetically-engineered insects in the movie Mimic. It’s a metaphor for something, I’m sure, but I’m a dunce when it comes to deciphering the hidden meaning of things. I like the track though.
Randomville: If you could change anything about this song, what would it be?
Susie Gale: Nothing. It’s got an offbeat quality that makes it endearing.
Randomville: How much of an Ash fan would you describe yourself as being?
Susie Gale: I don’t think I’m any more or less a fan as anyone else. I think its pretty irrelevant if you got into Ash yesterday or if you’ve been listening to them for years and have a room full of merch. So long as you enjoy the music, that’s all that matters!
Randomville: How do you feel the second half of The A-Z Series has been going?
Susie Gale: Great! I’ve been enjoying the whole A-Z series so far, the bonus tracks as well. Can I give a little love to “Pirates Are So 2004?” I really love that song. I wish I had the skills to make a stop-motion animation video for it!
Randomville: Do you feel the concept of The A-Z Series makes music more accessible to others or not?
Susie Gale: I think it makes it accessible in the way that you don’t have to go anywhere to get their new music; it’s sent right to your inbox regardless of where you are in the world. As I’m sure you know, living on this side of the Atlantic, CD imports are expensive and sometimes very hard to find. So with the A-Z format, I appreciate the fact that I can hear the new music at the same time as everyone else. Geography no longer becomes an issue, or harassing the local import shop.
Randomville: The band are big Star Wars fans; do you think this is something that shows in their music?
Susie Gale: Nice way to sneak in a Star Wars question! I think the only people who can answer that are Ash themselves, as I can’t speak to what influences them when they make music. Also, you can give a song to ten people and I’m sure you’ll get different interpretations as to what they may feel it is about. But my ten-year-old nephew who is a huge Star Wars fan is obsessed with the song “Clones” at the moment. I think he wants Tim Wheeler’s job.
Randomville: The A-Z Series has seen Ash in their most experimental mode to date; do you enjoy how this is turning out, and if so what do you like about it?
Susie Gale: I actually prefer some of Ash’s more offbeat tracks. I usually tend to like music that is either very loud/anthemic or electronic but I’m not opposed to change so I don’t get too perplexed when they try something new. I think it’s good for artists to take risks with their sound and experiment, in a natural sort of way. It only becomes a negative when change is forced for the sake of fitting in with the latest trends.
Randomville: What’s a special moment you had with an Ash song that you still remember to this day?
Susie Gale: I always take their music on holiday with me so “Innocent Smile” played on a couple of European rooftops…one of which I almost fell off of, but that’s a long story for another day.
Randomville: The band is noted to be very kind to their fans. Have you ever experienced this?
Susie Gale: Yes, I had the good fortune of running into them after one of their Canadian gigs when they were here touring for Free All Angels and let’s just put it this way: you can’t really say anything bad about Ash to me. I may hurt you.
Randomville: What do you think will be most remembered about the Ash A-Z Series in retrospect?
Susie Gale: Well, it’s a pretty innovative concept to release a new track every two weeks for a year. I don’t know about other fans, but I’ll remember that the A-Z actually made me look forward to hearing new music that wasn’t constrained by a CD format. So far it hasn’t been multiple versions of the same song or loads of filler, since you can’t get away with doing that when every song is held to such scrutiny by being released on its own. I’m sure a great deal of work must have gone into putting the A-Z together.
And remember readers! If you subscribe to The A-Z Series before June 1st you will receive the free (6th) exclusive bonus track: