Nu-Clear Sounds is the second album by Ash, originally released on 5 October 1998. It was obvious that Ash couldn't continue the way they had begun. Formed over good times as teenagers in Northern Ireland, Tim Wheeler, Mark Hamilton and Rick McMurray had continued to party like they worked a normal 9 to 5 through the releases of a mini-album, Trailer, and their proper debut, 1977. They were close to breakdown - they had to rethink. The answer came in the shape of a fourth member, Charlotte Hatherley, who took some of the strain and vulnerability that is inevitable with a three-piece. This recruit totally changed their sound, making their guitar noise broader and darker. Standouts include the slouch cool of Jesus Says and the Sonic Youth-like burr of Death Trip 21.