The British rock band are back with their first studio album in over six years…
Wishbone Ash will celebrate their 50th anniversary with the release of their consummate new studio album, Coat Of Arms, on 28 February 2020 on double 140 gram black vinyl Gatefold LP.
Coat Of Arms, while still heavily featuring Wishbone Ash’s characteristic twin lead guitar licks, haunting melodies and distinctive stylistic facets, is anything but retrospective, evenly balancing the past, present and future while still offering something fresh. The lead single, We Stand As One, is set to release on 10 January, with founding member, guitarist and vocalist Andy Powell describing it as “A real heavy rock anthem in the spirit of Wishbone Ash classics such as The Warrior, featuring awesome guitar sounds that our fans will love.”
The secret of a compositionally impeccable album is arguably the homogenous bond between band members, and never is this more evident than on Coat Of Arms. For many years Andy Powell has been able to rely on the highly intuitive and harmonious rhythm section of bassist Bob Skeat and drummer Joe Crabtree, to whom the immanent Wishbone Ash DNA has become second nature. The band have also been reinforced for the last three years by new addition Mark Abrahams, a young guitarist whose impressive finger-technique and unbridled musical enthusiasm infused the eleven new songs.
“Mark has brought two important factors to the band: youthfulness and energy, a little like when somebody injects you with a strong stimulant,” Powell said. “What’s more, he learnt the guitar by playing along to Wishbone Ash since the age of nine. Mark is a fan and knows some of our songs better than I do.” So it comes as no surprise that the two guitarists make an excellent songwriting duo; Powell noting that “Mark came up with the basic idea for It’s Only You I See, a number that to him is a kind of homage to You Rescue Me from our New England album.”
While stylistically diverse, Coat Of Arms is also typical of Wishbone Ash’s traditional strengths, a balancing act that is a challenge to Powell every time the band enter the studio: “Following the countless songs that we have written throughout the history of Wishbone Ash, my own expectations are extremely high. On the one hand as a composer you try not to repeat yourself in your creative output but to come up with new ideas all the time, on the other you want to remain faithful to your style. Good songs need an inner conviction and the right inspiration. We had both when we started working on Coat Of Arms. You’d be right in describing the current line-up as the best in the history of Wishbone Ash. We all love our lives as musicians, the direct contact with our fans, travelling, the shows, our songs. It’s that commitment by everybody involved that you hear in every single note on Coat Of Arms.”