By Charlotte Hatherley
After arriving home from my brief holiday in Iceland, it's ironic to find a song about summer waiting on my doorstep. Even more ironically, looking out of the window today, it seems that Iceland's weather was a lot nicer than the UK's. Anyway, enough of this meteorological nonsense, time for the tune.
It's obvious that playing in Ash has given Charlotte Hatherley an ear for a melodic pop song. This track just oozes that feelgood stomp, and has that certain spark that makes summer such a great time for up beat sing-a-long songs. Hatherley has that pop sensibility about her, and the song is a thrashy guitar gem. Happy and joyful, it's a blast of guitar pop for the masses, which will unfortunately probably only be seen by viewers of '120 Minutes' on MTV2.
Produced and featuring Eric Drew Feldman (he who produced some dEUS records, and is a long time Beefheart collaborator), the song knows how to be weird, yet knows that in the grand scheme of things, this is pure, joyful pop music.
The B-sides are more of the same up beat guitar rock, with sun kissed harmonies and playful guitar melodies. 'Commodore' is the best of them, sounding not unlike 'Summer', but is well enough detached from the latter. Poppy and lively, it's another reason to fall for Charlotte's golden vocal chords and strummy guitars.
'S.M.U.T' is more of a sinister sister than anything else. Sounding dark and brooding, with a churning main riff and thrashy chorus, it's darker than the other two songs on show here, and is a nice bit of diversity. You can't have a rainbow without rain, you know. This is the dirty, scuzzy yin to the happy pleasant yang of 'Summer'.
In all, it's a belting little CD. Charlotte manages to switch gears effortlessly when needed, she knows what a good pop song is all about, and god damn she knows how to pull it off.