Asylums “Killer Brain Waves”
Asylums hail out of Southend on Sea but seem pretty intent on conquering the UK, if not the world. Ahead of this release, they have already picked up a lot of exposure and praise for this album. In particular, they are getting a good bit of air play on 6 music, which is one of the few good judges of new music talent around at the moment (along with www.thesoulofaclown.com of course!).
There’s no messing around on this album, as they come straight out of the blocks with the storming first number, “Second Class Sex”. Along with “I’ve Seen Your Face In A Magazine”, it’s a sign that the band are aiming to deliver some frenetic indie pop. Indeed, “Joy In A Small Wage” has a confidence and shine that we haven’t heard since someone like The Killers first came on the scene. Although, these songs have a Britishness about them, kind of like when the Stereophonics turned up as a young, hungry and cool band (honestly they were once!).
Like all good indie bands, they have also given some attention to their song titles, like “Wet Dream Fanzine” and “The Death Of Television”. However, unlike many other bands, this is definitely not a case of style over substance. Also, this isn’t some kind of just commercially driven indie sound. There’s an extra depth and darkness to songs like “Monosyllabic Saliva”, with it’s grungier sound.
You can’t help thinking about the days when we used to have a vibrant UK indie scene. Certainly, the upbeat tone of songs like “Born To Belong” and, in particular, “Sunday Commuters” could easily have been big Brit pop hits, back in the day. Similarly “Missing Persons” is a bright pop song which would be at home blasting out of the radio or on MTV (or an actual music channel!).
Maybe it says something about the UK indie scene that this album is such a breath of fresh air. The songs on here aren’t really startlingly ‘new’ or ‘different’, they’re just damn good. It’s a higher quality of indie pop than we’ve become use to, but also with the necessary dash of youthful vigour and passion. It brings a bit of brightness against much of the drabness that’s around today.