(4 / 5)
Ash Wilson is a UK-based singer-songwriter from Lincolnshire who knows how to inject power into a track and how to hold the attention across a full abum. Storming opening track “Show Me How To Love You”, blurs the lines between blues and rock, with full use of effects pedals. If this is a taste of the rest of this album, my ears are well up for this….
“World’s Gone Crazy” with its thundering drums and guitar, keeps the pedal to the metal, if only for just short of two minutes. Before bringing the pace down with “Peace And Love”. A full-on Texas blues shuffle which treads Jeff Healey territory. Bob Fridzema (King King and Dana Fuchs) plays a mean Hammond. Title track “Broken Machine” allows bassist Roger Inniss – known for powering the bass with the likes of Chaka Khan and Laurence Jones – to shine.
Ash and his brother Phil Wilson are a formidable team, combining incendiary guitar and some of the best drumming I’ve heard in a long time. Phil now a full-time member of Laurence Jones’ band, also takes some of the writing credits, as well as producing and mixing this solid debut album. “Words Of A Woman” came to Ash while parked up in Liverpool, witnessing a full on domestic incident unfolding. As with all good blues tracks; borne out of life’s adversity. Well-structured tracks that include “Out Of Time”, show that the UK can still produce highly talented writers, performers and producers. A highly skilled guitarist too.
Joining Ash for the track “Hitcher”, a laid-back blues on a tale about his former real life partner hitching a ride to London without his knowledge, to clear off with another man, is famed guitarist Jesse Davey, a founding member of British blues outfit, The Hoax. Here he delivers the second guitar solo after one from Ash, and he plays Fender Rhodes piano and Melodica. “Hitcher” is one of the mellower moments on the album, allowing us to take a breather before “Hold On Now”.
A powerhouse cut, venting a lot of frustration. The song takes its lead from Ash’s father who said; “if you want someone to blame for all the things you are unhappy with, take a look in the mirror”. A theme of self-destruction but an ability to not lose grip and to hold on. Roger Inniss on fretless bass is joined by Greg Smith on bass for “Lonely Room”. Driven by turmoil in his life, this song describes the struggle of working through relationships that are intertwined with personal and professional aspects where the options are simple: “Endure or leave’.
The 10-track collection wraps on the ballad, “Holding Hands”, which continues the trend of taking us on a personal and somewhat tumultuous emotional journey through broken relationships, personal demons and ghosts of past relationships.
If this debut offering is a sign of things to come, then that is great news. This is up there with anything coming from the long list of UK and overseas guitar slingers in the blues and blues rock genre lately. Nothing broken about this machine!
By Ian Shipley
(1 / 5) ‘Dull Zone’
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’