Ashland: Wildfire (Self-Released)

Ashland
Wildfire
(Self-Released)

If you scroll through the ads for broken furniture, stained mattresses, and cleverly placed posts about sexual fetishes, you can find a few good things on Craigslist. I mean, have you ever wondered how many bands were formed simply by posting on Craigslist? Yeah, me neither, but I am sure it’s a lot.

That is where singer/songwriter Asia Woodward met up with guitarist Aaron Wood. The two formed a fast friendship over their love for all things music and began writing songs under the band name Ashland.

The duo came on to the scene with their debut EP ‘Interim’ last year and made a relatively quick turnaround with their debut full length ‘Wildfire,’ released earlier this year.

On ‘Wildfire,’ Ashland have the blessing and the curse which a lot of new bands go through these days. They show their hand too early. By that I mean the band has an array of influences from mainstream pop to rock. By incorporating their swath of influence all on one album, it makes ‘Wildfire’ feel scattered.

Based on the lyrical content, it’s clear Woodward has seen her fair share of broken hearted relationships to fuel her fire of writing lyrics. (Please music Gods, don’t let her do the Taylor Swift thing and go from boyfriend to boyfriend just to be able to write a song).

‘Wildfire’ is rich with solid, although somewhat overproduced songs. “For You” and “Got Love” are mainstream radio friendly, flexing their muscles without being too dangerous; “Lights Out” is completely infectious, but sounds like countless other bands out there right now, as does “Something Is Broken.”

If you didn’t know better, you’d swear Ashland’s ‘Wildfire’ was the album Flyleaf was supposed to make before the departure of Lacey Sturm or a future Katy Perry album if she had balls.