Chicago's Welcome To Ashley have a new album entitled "Beyond The Pale" as the band continues to gain notoriety from their critically praised 2009 EP "Absent Man." Their sound draws some similarities to The Smiths and R.E.M., but singer Coley Kennedy's vocals are a bit rougher than those of Michael Stipe. The lyrics of "What A Day It Was For Dying" are clever, but the song ends just as you get into it. Welcome To Ashley shows off their rock influences on "Destination" and their punks influences on "These Dreams of Mine." The band seems to find themselves caught in a "New Wave" kick on the new album. "I Love Monday Mornings" draws you in with its catchy drum beat, but the lyrics seem too scattered. The song is missing a catchy chorus to keep you singing along. But "Thursday Afternoon" carries a strong bass groove and guitar chords that become hard to resist. The acoustic album closer "End Of The Line" puts the vocals right out front without adding anything extra and it works perfectly.
Welcome To Ashley currently have a handful of live dates and their new album is available on iTunes. For more information on this band, please visit their myspace page (www.myspace.com/welcomtoashley).