In Print . . .
What people are writing about Soda Ash...
What people are writing about Soda Ash...
"Soda Ash have a freshness seldom found in today's music. Swirling guitars, delicate synths, hypnotic rhythms, and amazing vocals permeate the sound of Soda Ash. I recently received the bulk of the Soda Ash catalog, which blew me away! If you like innovative and intelligently created music, then this is the band. I was so moved by some of their music, that I actually had to turn off my player in order to recover from the sheer emotions they are capable of evoking. Of course, I turned it right back on. "
"I downloaded some of your mp3s and was really impressed! I love hearing good, new music whenever possible, and you guys ROCK. Of course that sounds clichť but you guys are incredibly talented (though you probably know this already). I downloaded a handful of your songs but it was actually after hearing 'Box of Gods' and 'Sci-Fi Lullaby' that I knew I was then 'officially' interested in working with you. Sci-Fi Lullaby had this trippy almost Rocky Horror-type vibe to it that was creepy and fun and mesmerizing at the same time. Box of Gods sounded like it would fit in perfectly on the Crow Soundtrack (the first film). All of the songs I listened to were just great. You guys are definitely going places if you haven't already. Favorite music I listen to that also came to mind when hearing your stuff .... Clutch Perfect Circle Mazzy Star Actually between Clutch (especially their second album, the one right before Elephant Riders) and NIN, I could hear these group's influences the most for some reason with a Shirley Manson/Luscious J type vocal-twist. I'm not a music critic so I could be talking out of my ass but that's how I would describe it to a friend. You definitely have the sci-fi/tech noir groove down (did the first Terminator flick coin that phrase?) and images from movies like The Crow, Matrix, Blade Runner, Batman Beyond, Blade, Queen of the Damned, Ghost in the Shell all spring to mind. Erin has an amazing voice by the way. "
"After Necrovox came Soda Ash, a goth/industrial band out of Columbia, MO. This band consisted of five members, the sexy female lead singer who also played a keyboard, two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. The drum kit was impressive with eight drums and four cymbals, and was played excellently by the bandís female drummer, who, appearing to be in her forties or fifties, outranked all of her bandmates significantly in age. This proved to be completely irrelevant to the quality of the bandís playing. As far as overall sound, Soda Ash was a needle jumping all over the dial. They ranged from goth to ambient to industrial to metal, and from slow and drudgy to fast-paced and intense. The rest of the band remained mostly motionless as the singer danced, cavorted, and acted-out some of the songs. Her voice poured out onto the more dreamy songs as though the music was winding its way up from the netherworld. When the speed picked up in later songs, she didnít refrain from emotionally yelling out the lyrics. The band included sounds such as a pounding industrial pulse, church organ keyboards, death metal-like guitar, and irregular, wild beats on the drums. Though overall a good show, they ended their songs messily, and the volumes of their instruments didnít seem correctly balanced. They received hearty cheers as they left the stage anyway, because they had put on a fun, diverse, exhilarating show. "
"Soda Ash's newest CD, Box of Gods, accomplishes something that most new music, especially in the mainstream, does not. Variety. Every song on the CD has a completely different sound to it, leaving one open to experience a myriad of emotions in a very short period of time. The few things that do carry through from song to song are haunting and seductive vocals that would make Gitane Demone green with envy and an amazingly layered soundscape that reminded me of some of the better horror movie scores. From the punkish/goth opening track, The Sun Puts You to Sleep, to the ethereal finale of Swan Song, I found myself wishing only one thing; that this CD was like 2 hours longer, as I had some of the best sex I've never had while listening to it. Definitely a score for your mood-swingy CD collection, and Arkansas gladly welcomes them into town for a show in the latter part of July. TITS to Soda Ash!"
"Columbia's spookiest band is back with their sophomore album. Only a few songs keep the in-your-face sound of Sci Fi Lullaby, with most of the osngs expressing a slowly creeping, almost delicate sound. The band has grown into a new sound, that should have appeal to a much wider base of listeners. You don't have to wear black lipstick to enjoy this record! It's refreshing to have a band in Columbia that sounds so out of place in the middle of the midwest. The voice of Erin Knowles (who writes the songs) is haunting and seductive. They also give great live performances.
Recommended ("5 star") songs: 1, 5, 6 (after 10pm), 7."
Who: Soda Ash is the Featured Bandat The Free-Music Archive
When/Where: December, 1999
"Soda Ash is not looking for a dark soulmate as much as a voice. As a "femme fronted" band (their word) they have things to say, and they are stronger than your average goth band. As diverse as their music is, they would have to be. I expected wishy-washy odes to dead actors. I was wrong. What I got out of the lyrics are messages of death murder, love and memory (okay, thats spooky), but better- messages of women, to women, and from women. It's a refreshing approach to girls rocking out. Its strong and not asking the listener for anything. They are upbeat people (not mopey artists). It is refreshing to hear people using music as a true vehicle for ideas. They sound like a "group." There is no leader, thay all bring something to the band, and they cover their bases. They will make themselves successful and that comes through. There are two especially good tracks worth looking at. The song Canto II (wasteland) has something warm burried in it. Something like Janes Addiction meets Nitzer Ebb and it's rich. The music is a little fuller and so I think better realized. The other song is Waking up late. It is hard to get the same sort of wandering accomplished in this song. Musically, they stay mostly within the styles of gap-goth, that is, the Cure and Mazzy Star, etc. and they are not without hints of the 80's classics of Bauhaus and others. But they are not a band to be compared. Their influences vary to the point where they read like a Rolling Stone and then you miss the point I think. They are not unhappy people and they rock. They are creating something of their own."
Go to Featured Band Site to read complete interview.
Who: E. Lurker at Lycos mp3 Central
When/Where: November, 1999
What: Description of Soda Ash music by Lycos reviewer:
"Scratchy rhythms and heavy, throbbing synths join hands and march in tight formation. Guitar noise ebbs and flows through rigid structures, ordered about by breathy, embittered female vocals. - E. Lurker
Similar Artists: Sisters of Mercy, Ministry, The Jesus and Mary Chain"
[ed: can you guess which song s/he listened to?]
When/Where: Friday, November 05, 1999
What: Soda Ash MP3 #2 on the Alternative chart. Check out the Top Alternative downloads Chart , which has
"Melting Through the Plastic Phrase" at #2 and "Washaway" at #9 !!
When/Where: Tuesday, October 26, 1999
What: Soda Ash MP3 #1 on the charts! Check out the Top 50 Chart , which has "Washaway" at #1 !!
This is for all genres! Wow!
When/Where: Monday, October 18, 1999 (and updated)
What: Soda Ash MP3's move up the charts! Check out the Indie Rock Chart , which has "Sci-Fi Lullaby" at #2 !!
And the Gothic Chart , which has 6 songs from Sci-Fi Lullaby in the top 20!
Who: San Diego Fetish
When/Where: June, 1999 at Rich's in San Diego
What: Article on the Midsummer Nyte Scream Tour
"The Midsummer Nyte Scream Tour is composed of seven gothic, industrial bands featuring beautiful females clad in black clothing of various leathers, vinyls and latex as lead singers. One exception was the lead Singer of Soda Ash who was dressed in silver. She screamed at the audience, "This damn thing is hot!" ... and preceded to pull down the entire back zipper of her latex catsuit.
Her music filled the entire bar with the same hot, sensual emotion."
Check out the article and interview: club owner Linda Sabat.
Who: Jett Black of Nocturnal Movements
What: Review and Interview
Decidedly not Goth, but more than Goth, Soda Ash draws from a wide range of musical influences, styles and experiences. These band members are not altogether what one might consider contemporaries. Erma Zimmerman, 45, picked up drum sticks 5 years ago, and now has the uncanny precision of a drum machine. While band members and the music appeals to the local Columbia, Ohio [sic] Gothic scene, their individual influences vary greatly. Perhaps that is what brings together fine musicians to produce more interesting music in the scene today. Diversity is believed to bet he spice of life. Shake loose the cobwebs from the corners of your local scene and add Soda Ash to your list of bands to see along the route of the Mid-Summer Nyte's Scream Tour.
When/Where: Tuesday, March 9, 1999
What: Lead article in Arts section. "SodaAsh is more than Gothic" by Shannon Russell with photo by Chad Springer.
"SodaAsh has a dark sound with distorted guitar and precise drum beats, and Knowles' voice sounds like it was lifted from the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" soundtrack. The band is loud and rhythmic and disturbingly catchy."
Complete article is reproduced at The Maneater website.
When/Where: March, 1999
What: Review of Sci-Fi Lullaby by Matthew Smith.
" Soda Ash, a goth act based here in Columbia, strays far from the rockabilly/blues saturation the town's local scene has experienced for years. It plays on the novelty of being different while, at the same time, catering to the crowd in love with black-on-black outfits. Soda Ash has definitely selected its audience rather than let its audience select them. The band's first release, Sci-Fi Lullaby, is industrial music, text-book style. guitars are pumped through so many effects and gadgets that it's hard to discern whether they were once six-stringed instruments. Drum beats imitate drum machines; vocals drone like bees and scream like tires. If you're not ready to be caught up in a deluge of overly distorted guitar work and screeching vocals, then this CD isn't for you. One of the most noteworthy songs on the album, "From this Place," starts out interestingly enough, but it falls prey to the same thing that most of the band's songs do: repetitiveness. It seems the band members can't decide where to take the song after the opening riff, so they just repeat it over and over again into what seems like eternity. Such a heavy, rough-edged sound may be good for invoking the demon spirits of the underworld, but as far as exploring complex musical ideals, this CD falls a little short. On the other hand, the production and presentation of this album make it hard to believe it was recorded independently. the artwork and liner notes are beautiful and work well with the style. The recording is clear, full and effective. Soda Ash offers a nice variety of tempos and sounds from song to song on Sci-Fi Lullaby, but the emotional content remains as dark and dirty as your grandma's old attic. Bands like this are definitely meant for a select group of people, so the average Joe on the street may find it hard to get into the music. However, Soda Ash does dish out goth with a certain dark carelessness that must be commended. If you're a music fan with a definite taste for unpolished, nightmare rock, it may be worth giving this band a listen. If not, you should probably keep browsing. "
When/Where: Spring 1999 no.2
What: Review of Sci-Fi Lullaby
"I've been listening to this one tons since I've got it. Hard, heavy drums and guitars stuffed in a blender with pretty keyboards and lovely vocals(okay, a few screams too). All fits quite nicely together. I kept thinking of Daisy Chainsaw, Sonic Youth, and early Hole caught in a battle with Rozz era Christian Death. It's got a lot of noisy punk attitude with plenty of beauty mixed in. They are definitely pushing toward the gothic-industrial end of things, but mixing it with heavier indie and even hard-core sensibilities, which is something many bands seem afraid to do. I thought the lyrics were good in straightforward yet poetic qualities. And Erin is a very interesting vocalist: a great screamer! A beautiful and beastly album. I can't wait for more!---AR"
When/Where: Wednesday, July 22, 1998 (Vol. 64, No. 34, p. 21)
What: (Local Music Index by Maneater staff)
"Since February, Soda Ash has tried to cater to the rough edges of its electronic industrial groove. Taking heed of such acts as Pink Floyd and Ministry and Hole, its first full-length CD, Sci-Fi Lullaby, should hit local stores soon."
Complete article is reproduced at The Maneater website (with an awesome photo of our friend Ben Kapps of Babylon HoR taken by Dan Tylkowski).