Wishbone Ash ‘Coat of Arms’
Album Review By Adam McCann
SPV/Steamhammer Records/Hard Rock/Progressive Rock
Who would have that thought it has been 50 years since Wishbone Ash began their career? The British band pioneered a hard rock and progressive rock sound that made use of a twin guitar harmony with a mantle that was later taken up by Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden. This year has Wishbone Ash returning with their 23rd studio album ‘Coat of Arms’, the band’s first album since 2014’s ‘Blue Horizon’.
As far as albums go what Wishbone Ash deliver with ‘Coat of Arms’ is nothing that anyone has not been heard before; there are plenty of beautiful melodies here that intertwine themselves with some well crafted and professionally made songs that really digs deep and shows the experience held by Andy Powell that can be seen during the tracks ‘We Stand as One’, ‘Empty Man’ and the title track. However, this doesn’t occur throughout the album and ‘Coat of Arms’ does tend to meander a little bit with tracks like ‘Too Cool for AC’ and ‘Personal Halloween’ not really making an impact. Although ‘Coat of Arms’ does wander, when its good, it really drives home the memories of those first three Wishbone Ash albums where the band were in their prime; but unfortunately, when its not, ‘Coat of Arms’ if relatively forgettable.
What ‘Coat of Arms’ does show is that there is plenty of life in this classic band yet, Bob Skeat and Joe Crabtree are as stoic as ever with guitarist Mark Abrahams giving some new blood into Wishbone Ash and unlike many of their peers who seem to have become pale imitations of themselves, Wishbone Ash have delivered something fresh and enjoyable.
Rating : 74/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann