Nu-Clear Sounds

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Nu-Clear Sounds
Studio album by Ash
Released 5 October 1998
Recorded March–June 1998
Genre Garage rock,[1] rock[2]
Length 50:25
Label Infectious
Producer Ash, Chris Kimsey, Owen Morris
Ash chronology
Live at the Wireless
Nu-Clear Sounds
Free All Angels
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media (6.9/10)[3]
Sorted (Positive)[4]
The Observer (Negative)[5]

Nu-Clear Sounds is the second official studio album by Ash, released on 5 October 1998. Despite receiving less public acclaimed than the other albums, it was certified Gold by the BPI.

On 11 May 1999 Nu-Clear Sounds was released in the United States with an alternate track listing and with "Jesus Says", "Wild Surf" and "Folk Song" remixed by Butch Vig.


It was the first album by the band to feature new member Charlotte Hatherley. Speaking to Kerrang! in 2008, Tim Wheeler remembered:

It was hell trying to make this. I was trying to write and it wasn’t quite happening. We all got pretty burned out from the touring, so it was a bit of a dark record. We were also reacting to the pop expectations that were put on us. We just wanted to do something a bit more reactionary and darker to reflect what we’ve been gone through. I went off the rails a bit. But one good thing was Charlotte [Hatherley] came along. I was living in an apartment with her boyfriend. She was really young, she was kind of shy and awkward, but she was also a great guitarist.
I wish we could have taken a bit of breathing space before making it. We were all a bit psychologically damaged from the 1977 time. Maybe this album was the catharsis and the thing that got us through it, but it was a tough few years.[6]

However, the majority of the album, along with Free All Angels and Meltdown, has rarely been played as of 2008 since her departure from the line-up. The tone of the album was a noticeable departure from the sound of 1977, with the much darker edge reflecting the mood of the band at the time, who were suffering from burn out as a result of near non-stop touring since their 1996 album 1977. Despite this, the songs still contain the trademark elements of Ash songs. The album also had more of an American indie and grunge influence from the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Hüsker Dü, Nirvana and Nada Surf along with the Weezer albums Weezer and Pinkerton.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Tim Wheeler, except as noted.

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Projects"   Charlotte Hatherley, Mark Hamilton 3:53
2. "Low Ebb"   Tim Wheeler 5:00
3. "Jesus Says"   Hamilton 4:44
4. "Wildsurf" Hatherley, Wheeler Wheeler 3:26
5. "Death Trip 21"   Hamilton, Wheeler 4:08
6. "Folk Song"   Wheeler 4:54
7. "Numbskull"   Hamilton 3:09
8. "Burn Out"   Wheeler 4:02
9. "Aphrodite"   Wheeler 4:17
10. "Fortune Teller"   Wheeler 3:22
11. "I'm Gonna Fall"   Hamilton, Wheeler 5:13

The Japanese version has "Taken Out" as track 12 with "A Life Less Ordinary" as track 13.



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Review: Nu-Clear Sounds - Ash". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  4. ^ Gleeson, Michael. "Review: Ash - Nu-Clear Sounds (Infectious)". Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Spencer, Neil. "Review: Ash - Nu-Clear Sounds". The Observer Review. Guardian Media Group (4 October 1998): 7. 
  6. ^ Johnston, Emma. Kerrang! Issue #1235, 8 November 2008. Treasure Chest. The Intimate Portrait Of a Life in Rock. Tim Wheeler. P.54