- Low Ebb
- Jesus Says
- Wild Surf
- Death Trip 21
- Folk Song
- Burn Out
- Fortune Teller
- I’m Gonna Fall
The Australian version was released in 1998 through Mushroom records, it includes the original eleven tracks and two bonus tracks.
The US version of the album was released on September 28, 1999 through DreamWorks SKG. It includes the same eleven tracks as the original and one bonus track, the 1997 single “A Life Less Ordinary”. However, it features a completely different tracklisting to the original version. While the tracks “Folk Song”, “Jesus Says”, and “Wild Surf” were remixed by Garbage drummer and Nirvana producer Butch Vig.
- Label: Infectious Records
- Catalogue number: INFECT60
- Formats: CD, 12” vinyl, 12” clear & green splatter vinyl (2023 re-issue), Cassette
- Charts: UK: 7
- Producer: Owen Morris & Chris Kimsey
- Recorded: Rockfield & Astoria
“Nu-Clear Sounds” was the first Ash album to feature new guitarist Charlotte Hatherley. The album has won praise from many critics, as well as from Garbage drummer and producer Butch Vig. The album was however a commercial disappointment in relation to the success of “1977”, but remains a fans favourite and still entered the top ten, it was certified Gold by the BPI.
Tim came up with the title “Nu-Clear Sounds” from the name of a launderette in the States that was called Nu-Clear Suds.
The early recording sessions for the album were pretty fraught with the band unhappy at the results. In the end most of the recordings from these sessions were scrapped and Owen Morris was brought in to produce the album.
On February 24th, 2023 the band remastered and re-issued the album on limited edition clear and green splatter vinyl.
Speaking to Kerrang! in 2008, Tim said remembered:
It was hell trying to make this. I was trying to write and it wasn’t quite happening. We all got pretty burned out from the touring, so it was a bit of a dark record. We were also reacting to the pop expectations that were put on us. We just wanted to do something a bit more reactionary and darker to reflect what we’ve been gone through. I went off the rails a bit. But one good thing was Charlotte [Hatherley] came along. I was living in an apartment with her boyfriend. She was really young, she was kind of shy and awkward, but she was also a great guitarist.
I wish we could have taken a bit of breathing space before making it. We were all a bit psychologically damaged from the 1977 time. Maybe this album was the catharsis and the thing that got us through it, but it was a tough few years.
Speaking to Mosh Cam in 2016 Tim Wheeler reflected on trying to finish Nu-Clear Sounds:
“That was a hard record to write after just a year and a half of success that we’d had. We forgot how important song-writing was. No-one seemed to factor in any song-writing time for us, it was just non-stop interviews and touring. So yeah, trying to write the record under a lot of pressure at the age of 19 was pretty challenging.
Tim Wheeler on the pressure to follow up 1977 in a February 2020 interview with Stereoboard:
We were pretty burned out with touring and didn’t have much time to make sense of going from school to being a big success. Also, because of how much we toured I didn’t have time to write. There was pressure on to deliver a follow up. We knew we had this big fanbase and assumed whatever we did they would go with. We felt we could try something different, but I was definitely in a darker space. It was all pretty fucked when I was trying to get my head together to write that.
We’d moved to London and got a rehearsal space, this little studio we were trying to write in, but after one month we had one almost finished song with no finished lyrics. Then we went to Owen’s house for a couple of months to write because it was obvious we weren’t getting anything done in London, there were just too many distractions. I wasn’t writing full songs very well so some great stuff came out of jamming more.
The songs I was writing by myself were real downbeat ballads, there’s about four or five bittersweet sad songs on it. It wasn’t the ‘pop hits’ feeling.