Sean Ashby Brass And Gold

Ashby found some Western success with earlier band Jack Tripper, and has also achieved prominence as a long-time guitarist in Sarah McLachlan’s band. On this, his solo debut, he emerges as a rock singer-songwriter with a knack for melody and infectious riffs. He grabs your attention from first cut "Dreamin’” and its memorable line, "I saw you standing in a mausoleum.” This and equally catchy tracks like "Star 98” and "Nova Girl” would certainly enliven rock radio stations, while Ashby is also capable of delivering gentle, haunting ballads ("Brass And Gold,” "Eyes Are Closed”). Stylistic reference points here range from the Foo Fighters to Coldplay to Nick Drake, and such eclecticism is refreshing in this era of one-dimensional artists. Multi-instrumentalist Ashby also produced and engineered, while Warne Livesey (Matthew Good, Midnight Oil) mixed the disc. Other contributors include Kevin Fox (string arrangements) and New Pornographer Todd Fancey (backing vocals). He’s definitely a stronger guitarist, writer and producer than singer but Ashby’s voice proves a malleable instrument for these impressive songs. (Black Sparrow)