Wishbone Ash – The Power of Eternity
CD Review by Jen Bond

 

 

 
November 2007
 
 
Track listing
1.
  The Power
2.
  Driving a Wedge
3.
  In Crisis
4.
  Dancing with
the Shadows
5.
  Happiness
6.
  Northern Lights
7.
  Your Indulgence
8.
  Growing Up
9.
  Disappearing
10.
  Hope Springs Eternal

Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date:
October 15, 2007

The late 60s and early 70s were a bountiful time for music lovers. New bands with new ideas were springing forth like wild flowers in an open field. Rooted in their freshly established harmony guitar sound, Wishbone Ash was unleashed in this era. Their rich and intricate musical contribution would soon influence acts such as Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden-and continue to inspire rock and roll artists throughout three and a half decades.

The Ash original line up is no more, but the one constant, Andy Powell, continues on surrounded by an entourage of first-class musicians. Current lineup includes Bob Skeat, Muddy Manninen, and Joe Crabtree. Their latest offering, The Power of Eternity, may be a great departure from the early days of Wishbone Ash. But as with all of the band's modern collections, we hear the hooks, riffs, themes, and elements of days gone by as we take the exciting leap forward into future of this ever-evolving, seemingly eternal act.


Power of Eternity Tracks

The Power
Appropriately selected as the first track, The Power launches a catchy riff manifested in some heavy chord and tom work. The tune's escalating chorus culminates in an explosion of rock in true Ash form, conjuring up a mental image of air-fisted fans in numbers. Seize the day and rock all night says The Power.

Driving a Wedge
Get your funk on. You're about to move, groove, and unhinge your bad self in this soulful, lyrical lashing. Driving a Wedge brings you rhythmic riffs, funky bass, and suspenseful peaks, in a playful James-Brown-style, get-down jam. But wait, here comes the twin guitar resolution you hoped for, and it's telling you quite an intense story. Sit still if you savor some punchy Wishbone rebuke.

In Crisis
And aren't we all? Soft, somber echoing lyrics lend a hint of Alan Parsons/Floydish-style melancholy, while the steady rhythmic motion takes us down a fast-churning, contradictive thought process. As the melody steadily rolls us into the memorable refrain, it sets the stage for some extremely fancy lead work. You're on the edge of your seat.

Dancing with the Shadows
Dark, sinister, blues stomp on you, while eerie vocal harmonies question you. You can feel the fingerwork fret, as you get lost inside this deeply grim head thrasher.

Happiness
The brink of a contagious Wishbone Ash riff is brought to life through a bouncy, seductive, jeering funk sound that is unprecedented. Vocals exceed expectations with an overtone of borderline insanity, urgency, and the over-the-top emotion of "going down." Wishbone Ash meets Thomas-Dolby-mad-scientist-lunatic, brought back to earth with the familiar banner marches of Argus days and strong lead guitar resolution. Unforgettable, danceable, jolting, Happiness! Think you're happy? A surprising end sucks you into eternity, and takes you to the other side.

Northern Lights
Get in your car, and crank this instrumental ballad UP LOUD. If you see waters, fire, landscape, laughter, tears, and your entire life pass before your eyes, then you were listening to Northern Lights, a genius guitar composition that encompasses everything you ever felt everywhere at all times.

Your Indulgence
The Wishbone Ash love songs frequently get overlooked by gear-stricken guitar heads, but this one, with its stunning guitar work, crystal clear expression, and talented harmonies deserves your full attention. The ultimate tribute to another. Never stated better.

Growing Up
As the Wishbone Ash home page sound snippit, web fans already know this lick by heart. Growing Up begins with blast of neatly crafted and intellectual dual guitar work, which becomes the foundation for the hooks in this nostalgic self-realization. The lick is so good it's almost unbelievable-another Ash anthem! Unexpectedly, this tune lures you into an obsessive-compulsive 70s groove that could make you sing a memorable song from your past (Can you hear it?). Nevertheless, this drastic deviation sets the live stage for spectacular showmanship. You are in your safe Wishbone place with Growing Up, but not for long.

Disappearing
A dreamy lullaby of delicately picked jazz structures sucks us into a far-away world of fantasy and wandering escape. The ultimate departure from the sound and world
we know.

Hope Springs Eternal
A pounding profession of eternal hope, with a chorus that musically captures the idea. The Argus marches and powerful harmonies again ring true, and carry us forth in the faith. The theme of eternity, brought full circle around, resonates. We are eternal believers in The Power of Eternity.


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