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No Hot Ashes - 'No Hot Ashes' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3a/22/b5/No-Hot-Ashes-No-Hot-Ashes-8-1522356205.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 29, 2018    
 
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A bloody great album.

Formed in Belfast in the early eighties, No Hot Ashes established themselves as the front-runners to follow in the footsteps of fellow Northern Ireland act Mama's Boys onto the stage of international recognition. However, despite all their hard work, it all just seemed to fade away.

A massive thirty-three years have passed since the band started honing these songs for their debut, which has finally emerged after a long period of inactivity. I've heard their name many times over the years, but the only remaining original member is drummer Steve Strange. Rounded out by vocalist Eamonn Nancarrow, Dale Irvine and Nial Diver (guitars), Tommy Dickson (keyboards) and bassist Paul Boyd (who sadly passed away before the release), No Hot Ashes take you back in time with a style deeply embedded in the sound of the mid-eighties, paying respect to UFO, FM and many other of the decade's greats.

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Lead track 'Come Alive' is possibly the album's heaviest song and sounds a little dated, particularly the keyboard stabs on the chorus, however, it's a decent track and sets the stall out for what's to follow. 'Good To Look Back' features some really nice lead work and tasty behind-the-beat keys that make this thoroughly enjoyable � that's not to mention Nancarrow proving he still has the voice. 'Satisfied' relies on a chunky, funky rhythm driving the song along which brings to mind Pete Willis' band Roadhouse. The ballad 'Boulders' hits the right spots; close your eyes, it's 1988 when FM, Heartland and Dare were putting an altogether European-spin on the "power ballad". 'I'm Back' and 'Glow' keep things flowing nicely before 'Over Again' raises the bar; it's just a bloody good song with some great guitars, a wonderful chorus and marvellous backing vocals. 'Souls' is another fine track with echoes of Survivor, but it's unfair to compare this to anything, it deserves full recognition in its own right.

Initial thoughts were this was just a run-of-the-mill album that has been finally released with the purpose of "putting it out because it's taken us too long", however, I'm happy to eat my words and say this release fully deserves a place in your collection. No Hot Ashes have come up with a little charmer that just grows on you, to the point where I will say that this is a bloody great album. If late-eighties AOR is your thing, grab yourself a copy; you won't be disappointed.

Kieran Dargan

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