Sean Ashby, Brass and Gold

Sean Ashby, Brass and Gold

The list of artists that guitarist Sean Ashby has worked with is long and illustrious, from Sarah McLachlan, Delerium, Wild Strawberries and Grapes of Wrath. With a list like this and a hand in selling over 10 million records, Ashby is a proven hired gun. But there’s a huge difference between a reliable sidemen and […]

The list of artists that guitarist Sean Ashby has worked with is long and illustrious, from Sarah McLachlan, Delerium, Wild Strawberries and Grapes of Wrath. With a list like this and a hand in selling over 10 million records, Ashby is a proven hired gun. But there’s a huge difference between a reliable sidemen and an engaging solo performer and he just barely gets away with the latter on his third release. What’s so discouraging about Brass and Gold is Ashby’s sad attempt at hard rock as he is content to let his guitar disintegrate into a clichéd and generic passive chug – heralding him as the second coming of Better Then Ezra. With that said, its in the quieter, darker, and self-reflecting tracks where Ashby really comes out of his shell. The title track is a brilliant example of Ashby’s bare bones acoustic production, where he allows a single snare drum hit or a fling of a cymbal in spots to help build the emotional tug of the song. Again he displays this style in two other outstanding highlights, found in the slow exotic build up on “Dance Upon My Grave” and the sure fire pop hit “Nova Girl”. Besides the few solid acoustic tracks, Brass and Gold, suffers from the stereotypical radio rock formula that make for an unfocused and all round mediocre listen. (Black Sparrow Records)