Ash Mountain "Flux & Limbo”
Boy, this is a good one! Flux & Limbo is one of those albums where the songs become better with each and every play on what is as fine a debut you could expect from an unsigned act.
“End Of The Line" is so drenched in southern country soul enough for little ol’ Bobbie Gentry (“Ode to Billie Joe”) to go eat her heart. I am not joking either. Such are the vocals and depth of emotion from lead vocalist Zoe Lee as she speaks of having a sister who has got the music but she has the soul and of how Stevie after her flame died, came to the end of line (and there is more). Zoe comes near to matching the performance on a restrained “Where Is My Love” and southern strained, blues hinted “Long Hair Down”. Fuelled by banjo and fiddle plus, some harmonica and rolling keyboards (that aren’t credited on the record) it could arguably said to be the Zoe and the band’s finest effort. Such is the strong, unrelenting force and interwoven instrumental support.
It doesn’t stop there for the Manchurians then take us on a dreamy trip through the song “Fly By Night” and “Little War”. As another fine show of vocals that would not be out of place on an Allison Moorer album (wife of Americana act Steve Earle if you were wondering and did not already know) as Lee and the band ignite wondrous imagery. The fact it is a great song harms the cause none either.
Apart from Lee, the band consists of Tim Scott (guitar, percussion) Paul Sullivan (bass) and Cian O’Duffy who, though listed as a member does not play on the album Ash Mountain produce sufficient to suggest they can build on their full album debut. The talented Manchester act manage to steer clear of repeating themselves in their music and with a running tine of 44 minutes that is no easy accomplishment. Additional to the band we have among other players in Alan Cook (steel guitar, mandolin and banjo) Lee Webster (guitar and banjo) and Steven Miles (fiddle) on what is a really fine collection of work. The band’s powerful and cultured all round display is heightened greatly by the quality of songs penned by band member Scott. Now they need you the listener give them a chance and urge them go back and record another album!