Album: Charlotte Hatherley

Grey Will Fade, DOUBLE DRAGON

As second guitarist with Ash, Charlotte Hatherley has probably done more to alter indie lads' gender attitudes than any musician since the two Kims, Deal and Gordon. With none of that Courtney Love attitude to distract or detract, she can be judged purely as a musician - as which, she has managed to nudge Ash a little closer to The Pixies, clearly a major influence. Out on her own for the first time, Hatherley's musical ambitions can be gauged by her employment of two former members of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band for help with this project, producer Eric Drew Feldman also playing keyboards throughout, and Morris Tepper contributing a typically astringent, spiky guitar line and solo to "Stop". Otherwise, the tracks are laid down by Hatherley virtually on her own, save for Rob Ellis's drums. As you might expect from such a youthful performer, her songs deal mainly with the emotional ups and downs triggered by life's vicissitudes. In some cases, there's a clear provocation - the rebellious role model acclaimed in "Paragon", or in "Bastardo", the "two-faced lothario" Mexican boy who steals her guitar after a one-night stand. Others are more general in origin, like the depressions and anxieties confronted in "Where I'm Calling from" and "Down". A confident and engaging solo debut.

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