Music Reviews

Ashby

Power Ballads

Marina

Old analog synths are all over this record, making it sound dated the first time you play it, even to someone like me who likes old synth music. Part of the problem here is that electronic music is no longer novelty enough in and of itself to be worthy for it’s own sake. Another is the lack of a discernable presence behind the synths, a human voice. Need I add that I’m speaking metaphorically?

Being an indie-pop duo with a female singer and male studio tech-geek, what Ashby have to contend with is the fact that Everything But the Girl set the keystone for their kind of music. Like a hotel cover band, they make music that is functional but average.

In the accompanying press notes, Pope and Cowie make much of the studio-based nature of their duo, proclaiming almost proudly that they have never played a live gig. Which is fine – some of my best friends, and all that. But you know, even Pet Shop Boys developed some great live shows over the years.

Drummer Bill Cowie puts songs mostly written by vocalist Evelyn Pope into simplistic settings; both also play a number of other instruments as well. This is boom-clap-bash, meaningless but inoffensive electronica, fourth-rate synth pop. It works for a couple of tracks, or the equivalent of both sides of a single. “Trip 66” has a catchy riff played on electric piano (or so it sounds) and “Slip Away” makes the most of the drone of the old synths.

Ashby are one of those bands that rewards less, not more attention. Which is one of the warning labels that what you are listening to is not great art.

Marina Records: http://www.marina.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Meditations on Crime

Meditations on Crime

Print Reviews

Politics is Crime. Crime is Politics. Discuss… Carl F. Gauze reviews Meditations on Crime, the book half of Harper Simon’s super-collaborative art and music project.

Porn and Ice Cream

Porn and Ice Cream

Screen Reviews

Three aimless misfits find themselves a purpose when they unwittingly start a band. It’s not your typical rock story, as Ian Koss explains.

Fire and Iceland

Fire and Iceland

Interviews

New York filmmaker April Anderson talks with Bob Pomeroy about volcanoes, horses, and making documentaries in Iceland.

Best of Film 2022

Best of Film 2022

Screen Reviews

With a year of festival and microcinema screenings behind them, Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite films, six supplemental features, and one exceptional repertory release of 2022.

Laura Citarella

Laura Citarella

Interviews

Director Laura Citarella, of the famed filmmaking collective El Pampero Cine, has created with her newest feature Trenque Lauquen a provocative transformation of her protagonist Laura (Laura Parades), whom Citarella first introduced in her 2011 film Ostende. Lily and Generoso enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Citarella about Trenque Lauquen when it screened at AFI Fest 2022.

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

Features

Join us for a new edition of New Music Now, with our special musical guest, Sleepyhead. All three members of the band are school teachers, so you didn’t hear it from us, but there might be a pop quiz about their album New Alchemy after the show.

%d bloggers like this: