WISHBONE ASH - Number the Brave
'Record Mirror' March 1981
Go mince around with your Human Leagues, your Spandau Ballets and your Adam Ants - I’m off home to listen to the Ash. With its dynamic cover showing a hedge of bayonets, this album demonstrates that the band who have been pissed upon more times than they care to remember, are still fighting. Most people are Ash fanatical, or they left off after “Argus” came out. For mysterious reasons since then, Ash have been THE band to attack, while yer Quos and Lizzys have maintained at least some of their early respect.
Produced by Police mentor Nigel Gray, this album hasn’t soaked up too much Miami sunshine and anybody who thought Powell was a bad choice for handling vocals can rest assured that he’s easily slipped into the pilot’s chair vacated by Turner and he can more than handle the pace. This album represents another Ash rebirth and Gray has been responsible for bringing out a new range of dynamics, pruning the old flowery guitar style right down when it’s necessary. Side one boasts the memorable single “Underground”, all captivating guitar hooks and the band’s “Phoenix” for 1981.
Even Wisefield’s vocals sound more than credible on “Rainstorm” but for my half crown the best out on side two is the title track; the Ashettes at their very best. For conspicsuous gallentry in the face of continued slag-offs you’re awarded **** (four stars).