Wishbone Ash - Cost Of Arms

Wishbone Ash – Coat Of Arms


‘Coat Of Arms’ has its moments, and if you’re a diehard Wishbone Ash fan then this will be right up your street.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Wishbone Ash
ALBUM: Coat Of Arns
LABEL: SPV-Steamhammer
YEAR: 2020


LINEUP: Andy Powell – vocals, guitar * Mark Abrahams – guitar * Bob Skeat – bass, backing vocals * Joe Crabtree – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Stand As One * 02 Coat Of Arms * 03 Empty Man * 04 Floreana * 05 Drive * 06 It’s Only I See * 07 Too Cool For AC * 08 Back In The Day * 09 Deja Vu * 10 When The Love Is Shared * 11 Personal Helloween

RATING: Score=70%



It’s not often we flourish the pen at British classic rockers Wishbone Ash. They’ve been out of the studio since 2014, and even last year’s 50th Anniversary didn’t bring the original members back together to at least record something in celebration. Now out on the road touring most of the time, long serving member Andy Powell has at least bought the band (with new members) into the studio to get some material laid down.

It’s not quite the classic rock of the 70’s, or the near AOR of the 80’s. It’s (how can I say it?) a polite and inoffensive set of tunes that probably won’t get the casual listener doing backflips anytime soon.

The Songs

The lead off song ‘We Stand As One’ is an absolute anthem for the people. Quite appropriate in this era of lockdowns and social distancing. it was also the band’s chosen video. The title track ‘Coat of Arms’ exemplifies that Fender Strat sound, with close picking and rhythm work. Occasionally it’ll slide off to a southern rock vibe with the soloing.

‘Empty Man’ and ‘Deja Vu’ (which reminds me of Jon English‘s’ Six Ribbons’) with it’s folk leanings and the pleasant but uncaptivating ‘Floreana’ caused me to shuffle on through the Playlist. ‘Drive’ is a nice jangly upbeat affair, while the album’s piece de resistance is probably ‘It’s Only You I See’, a swirling 70’s prog like scene setter with hints of Pink Floyd.

The band do let their hair down (or what’s left of it) on tracks like ‘Back In The Day’ and ‘When The Love Is Shared’, but the overtly bluesy ‘Personal Helloween’ was probably unnecessary considering they’ve been recycling this style of white mans blues for decades.

In Summary

‘Coat Of Arms’ has its moments, and if you’re a diehard Ash fan then this will be right up your street. I enjoyed some parts of it, ‘It’s Only You I See’ a highlight, given the band’s 50 year career. Good to see with them recorded product out in the market (released 28th February 2020), check it out if this style of classic rock interests you.


We Stand As One

WISHBONE ASH "We Stand As One" (Official Video)

Back In The Day
WISHBONE ASH "Back In The Day"

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