The problem that many indie bands nowadays have is that they continue to perform a sound that lost mainstream popularity at least a decade ago. Mid-2000s dance rock is still the go-to mode for many aspiring bands today, which has led the whole genre to remain within its wheelhouse. These bands will have decent slots on festivals and Radio X will play their hits, but that’s about it.
No Hot Ashes are another example of indie music’s current homogenised state. Their music is good, and at one time, it might have sounded fresh. But their latest single, “W.Y.N.A”, isn’t all that different to what you could find on any Spotify playlist. The pleasant guitar grooves, simple beats, and catchy melodies are fun and well performed, but they’re nothing you’ve not heard before.
Similarly, the songwriting is nothing original, with its lyrics about local lads and their shenanigans covered by bands of this ilk so many times before. There’s nothing wrong with this itself, as it makes for an enjoyable tune that’ll be a great live sing-a-long. But it makes you wish that a new, obviously talented band like this would tackle a different subject less worn-out and used.
It would be unfair to completely write off No Hot Ashes. They have a tight, intricate sound and clearly have a knack for a catchy melody. But if they plan to stand out from the crowd, some outside-the-box thinking and a foot out of their comfort zone are needed.