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Ashes Grammar

4 customer reviews

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Ashes Grammar
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Audio CD, September 15, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 release. Opening with a 10 second homage to Estonian composer Arvo Part, it's immediately apparent that A Sunny Day in Glasgow's Ashes Grammar is going to be a much more visceral outing than their 2007 album debut, Scribble Mural Comic Journal. It takes a few minutes for the record to even begin to reveal itself, as a swarm of 1950s a-capella ('Secrets at the Prom') gives way to resonant drones, room noise, and sub bass ('Slaughter Killing Carnage'). It's here that 'Failure' unexpectedly kicks in with a tribal stomp and a fluttering guitar acting as a pair of wings, lifting the circular chants of the song's melody off the ground. It's all at once joyous, insecure, and blissed out and sounds nothing like we've heard from A Sunny Day in Glasgow before.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Secrets at the Prom
  2. Slaughter Killing Carnage (The Meaning of Words)
  3. Failure
  4. Curse Words
  5. Close Chorus
  6. Shy
  7. Passionate Introverts (Dinosaurs)
  8. West Philly Vocoder
  9. Evil, With Evil, Against Evil
  10. The White Witch
  11. Nitetime Rainbows
  12. Canalfish
  13. Loudly
  14. Blood White
  15. Ashes Grammar
  16. Ashes Maths
  17. Miss My Friends
  18. Starting at a Disadvantage
  19. Life's Great
  20. Headphone Space

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 15, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Carrot Top Records
  • ASIN: B002EP8UH4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,001 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Bidwell on December 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It's 1:30am. I'm tired but still awake. I grab my headphones and I decide to listen to something to put me to sleep. Randomly, choose "Ashes Grammar" - an album I picked up because of a fantastic (and fantastically written) review by Tiny Mix Tapes. I lay my head back and push play.

Sleep becomes a forgotten memory. I'm totally alive and awake, and for the next hour or so I'm completely absorbed and lost in what just may be the best and most beautiful album released this year. Like Tiny Mix Tapes said, it's rather difficult to write about this music. My best description of it would be as follows: My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" with a little less distortion, a lot more electronic musicality, coupled with layers upon layers of sounds, white noise, (what I think is) live drums, and gorgeous female singing that seems to be coming from the middle of the grandest cathedral in the universe.

Whenever I listen to new music - especially stuff that falls under the rubric of shoegazer, dream pop, noise pop, etc., my first reaction is, "How does this compare to 'Loveless'?" Usually, the answer to that question is that it doesn't come too close at all. But Sunny Day in Glasgow's "Ashes Grammar" has, for the first time since Catherine Wheel, Ride, or Chapterhouse, made me think that perhaps music can equal the shimmering beauty of "Loveless".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jack straton on November 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Ashes Grammar is just... the greatest. It's so good. I felt the need to give it some love after seeing that there was only one other review. The other reviewer was correct to compare this album to Loveless. However, Sunny Day are much more than just MBV leaning shoegaze. Ashes Grammar is a very ambitious album; it's tracks range from 11 seconds to 6 and a half minutes in length, encompassing 22 tracks that flow effortlessly into one another. While Galaxie 500 and other influential dream-pop acts created hazy slow moving pop, A Sunny Day in Glasgow have truly embodied the free-flowing structureless essence of dreams, moving with ease between ambient wisps of ideas and blissed-the-f***-out shoegazy pop greatness. There is plenty of melodic brilliance and intelligent song writing within the album. Shy, Close Chorus, and Headphone Space in particular feature impeccable song-writing while still fitting seamlessly in the album as a whole.
There are many different artists I associate Ashes Grammar with - the dense sonic brilliance of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, the free-flowing structure of Boards of Canada on Music Has the Right to Children or Geogaddi, the trance inducing power of Deerhunter's finest works (e.g. Helicopter). But Ashes Grammar has a sound uniquely it's own, and is a necessary listen for anyone who likes shoegaze, blissy pop, joy, or sunny days. Especially that last one, literally nothing goes with a sunny day better than Ashes Grammar.
Also, if you ever get the chance to see them live, take it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Schoening on January 12, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I recently "rediscovered" this band and found they had released several new albums since I had last caught up with them. I think Ashes Grammar is the band's best album in their discography. It's rare to pick up an album these days in the world of MP3 singles that you can listen to from start to finish, and this is one of them.

Each of the songs flow into one another and you really have to listen to the entire album to get the full experience. My favorite section is probably where "Closed Chorus" (track 6) begins and runs through tracks 7 up to 11 - which is "The White Witch".

Someone once said that great music puts you in a different mental state where your mind blocks out all of the nagging thoughts and external noise you're constantly bombarded with and you think about a misplaced memory, a forgotten friend, or a distant dream. This album does that for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Quaker on June 25, 2014
Format: Audio CD
2nd release from Philadelphia band is an eerie, dreamy, ambient choral noise-pop affair with a
joyous, celebratory experimental feel & the occasional driving beat...shades of angels floating on
dance floor. Similarities to Au Revoir Simone, Polyphonic Spree, Mum, Cocteau Twins, School
Of Seven Bells, Le Loup.
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