Review – “Split” – The Ashley Hundred

reviewed by Jack Derricourt

ashley

Parliamentary Folkadelic sounds from Calgary, Alberta. Did you ever think you’d read a review that started like that? Didn’t think so.

“Split” by The Ashley Hundred – an EP shared with fellow Calgarians 36? – is a short drive through thickly blended genres and styles. The parts are disparate and lively mixed.

The production is deep and sweeping. Banjo plucking stays fairly dry beside the more jamming synths and delay-laden guitar, creating a very different kind of sound spectrum, one that layers instruments from top to bottom of the mix. There’s room to move around in every track, which compliments the fairly solid pop structures of the songs themselves.

There is an 80s vibe alive on tracks like “Sleep Through Storms” and “Oh, Oxygen” — translations of the Smiths and Earl Scruggs ready to be rolled out for a new generation. Delay and live sounding drums provide familiar playgrounds for listeners, encouraging memory to join in on the game of thematic reflection.

“Adjacent Days” takes the cake on the EP. The guitar melody twirls around the drum beat, while pedal steel, fuzzy bass, and bending guitar provide notable flourishes.
The Ashley Hundred have done good deeds all around with this new EP. Get your banjo on, bang a gong, get it on.

Top Track: “Adjacent Days”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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