Album Review: No Hot Ashes – Hardship Starship

No Hot Ashes – Hardship Starship

Released 16th August 2019

Words: Elena Katrina 

no hot“I’ve got onion rings at my place….. ” If you, like me, love your lyrics to err on the side of quirky then you, my friend, are in for one hell of a treat with the debut album Hardship Starship from Manchester’s No Hot Ashes’. There’s not just onion rings and things to smile at though, no. No Hot Ashes have a political tinge to some of their tracks too, bringing a real edge to the proceedings. I admit that more often or not full on politically laced albums aren’t really my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love a strong message but when there’s no fun or balance, I find it a little hard going and I kind of like to take myself out of the world with music – an escape, if you will. No Hot Ashes then have created something here that really manages to find that balance for me.

Musically, every track is quick-paced even when it is a serious subject. Take that of Motion Sick; I want to sing and dance and be happy but wait… this guy is sad, he’s eating his feelings. This isn’t healthy, why am I dancing? There’s also Ish-Ka which is an absolute DELIGHT of a track that kind of came out of nowhere and punchy as fuck. I wasn’t expecting any kind of rapping but this works, really it does. Lyrically it’s one of the more politically charged tracks but it had a positive message and one listen just isn’t enough.

Have you ever heard a band spell out boobies on the calculator in their song before? No – well let me introduce you to my favourite track of August 2019 – Extra-Terrestrial. “You wear me out quicker than a calculator, 5319009 turn it around” – seriously I am in love, these funk-ridden bass lines and huge dollops of sunshine… get in my ears some more. Add in this gruff vocal that really has so much texture that you could scrub pans with it (yes, really) then you can’t help but smile.

Hardship Starship is packed full of moments to make you smile, to make you dance and to make you think. All cleverly packaged in up-tempo indie bops – regardless of the subject matter I feel uplifted and engaged. I love the bass trips and tambourine shakes on the fun number CAR. The album ends with what is arguably the heaviest of openings with Hey Casanova giving the album a close that goes with somewhat of a bang – you won’t want it to be over though, head straight for the repeat button, you won’t regret it. 

Listen to Hardship Starship here:

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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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