The title of Ash's fourth album is presumably a bit ironic. After all, meltdown is precisely where their career was headed before 2001's poptastic Free All Angels spawned so many hit singles and made them one of Ireland's best-loved bands again. Now they've decamped to Los Angeles, teamed up with Foo Fighters producer Nick Raskulinecz and gone back to their first love - rocket-fuelled, balls-out American rock. The result is by far the heaviest-sounding album they've made to date, sometimes a bit too heavy for Tim Wheeler's slightly weedy voice. More importantly, however, Ash have lost neither their youthful enthusiasm nor the ability to craft gloriously catchy tunes that made them so appealing in the first place. And for all the bulldozer riffs and ferocious guitar solos on display here, the superb melodies prove that they're still just a great pop band at heart. Meltdown is an absolute riot - and it'll sound even better live.