Two and a half years after its debut album, No Other Comfort, Georgia's Ashen returned following a lineup shift and a death-defying spring 2002 van accident to deliver this swansong EP. Recorded in February 2003, Pull and Repel balances frontwoman Erin Akemi's pensive observations with Zac Carlson's brawny riffs. Clearly weaned on American indie pop and defunct U.K. shoegazer acts like Ride and the Pale Saints, Ashen's strong suit is gut-wrenching, ethereal pop like "Our Being Here" and "Two Hundred Words." Yet the quartet's ability to balance delicacy and energy turns "Cycle Pinsetter" and the set-starting highlight "Scissors Beat Paper" into a rare musical commodity. Sadly, the group's decision to disband in mid-2003 means that what appeared to be the start of something really magical was actually the end.
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AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen