In 1996 Irish alt-rockers Ash released their first full-length album, 1977. Named in honor of the birth year of two out of the three members, the year punk broke in the UK and the year Star Wars made its theatrical debut, 1977 offered a post-Nirvana guitar buzz that embraced the quirkiness of an Empire Records generation.

Vocalist/guitarist Tim Wheeler offered hook-driven angst that combined sweet melodies and effects drenched walls of guitar. While taking cues from Creation records and frantic and melodic punk rock of the late ’70s, Wheeler, along with bassist Mark Hamilton and drummer Rick McMurray, let their youthful exuberance run rapid. The trio tossed aside the trappings and posturings of cooler-than-thou indie and punk cred and embraced commercial success. “Girl From Mars” and “Kung Fu” perfectly exemplified this newfound/long-forgotten fun brand of guitar pop.

Twenty years later, the band celebrates their breakthrough album with tours consisting of entire album performances. The second night of the American leg of the tour will be in San Francisco at The Independent on Thursday. This marks the band’s first return to the Bay since touring for their 2015 album, Kaboom!.

To enter for a chance to win tickets to see Ash at The Independent on September 22, email with “Ash” in the subject line and your full name in the body of the email. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email.

Ash, The Hooks
The Independent
September 22, 2016
8pm, $22 (21+)