Southend’s finest – ASYLUMS – release their fourth album: ‘Signs of Life’, via Cool Thing Records).
The world has changed, Asylums have changed…but one thing remains valid, making music is still an essential craft and serves as creative medicine for many musicians and listeners alike.
Recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios (in the same room Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody) with genre-bending ‘Manic Street Preachers’ producer Dave Eringa in the driving seat, ‘Signs Of Life’ is a record that evolves the Asylums’ sound once again while still staying true to their musical and lyrical DNA.
Album opener and lead single ‘Scatterbrain’ comes out of the starting blocks like Dr Feelgood and The Jesus & Mary Chain gene-spliced with Richard III era Supergrass, urgent, pseudo sardonic but somehow still fun, it sets the tone for the whole album which was always intended to be life-affirming and joyous after a deeply reflective period.
Not since their much-loved single ‘Joy In A Small Wage’ have Asylums articulated their melodic and melancholic dimension so well – this time adding drummer Henry Tyler’s string arrangements into the mix. On ‘Instant Coffee’ the band entwine the fragile introspection of early Kurt Vile and Cat Power with the late 90’s song smithery of Blur and The Cardigans. The results are uplifting, soul searching and further evidence that Asylums are on top form. Of the record Asylums’ Luke Branch says:
Asylums ‘Signs Of Life’ draws inspiration from a spectrum of human emotions and examines how they intersected with technology during the accelerated change of the last few years. As well as dialling their manic rock sound up to 10, this record also draws from the likes of R.E.M., The Magnetic Fields and The Beatles who all arguably made some of their best work during a live hiatus.
Reflecting on how the record came about, producer Dave Eringa says of ‘Signs Of Life’:
Track Listing for ‘Signs Of Life’:
2. Understand The Psychology
3. Instant Coffee
4. Signs Of Life
5. Crypto Klepto
6. Erase The Edges
7. If You Can’t Join Them Beat Them
8. Say Goodbye Before You Die
9. Nursery Rhymes Against Humanity
10. Everybody Has A Space To Fill
11. Spat Out The Other Side
12. The Mirror
ASYLUMS – IN-STORE SHOWSTICKETS/DETAILS2 – Vinilo, Southampton – TICKETS/DETAILS3 – Vinilo, Bournemouth – TICKETS/DETAILSNOVEMBER 2 – Pie & Vinyl, Portsmouth @ 1pm –
* * * *Asylums are: Luke Branch: Vocals / Guitar Jazz Miell: Guitar Michael Webster: Bass Henry Tyler: Drums / Vocals
Shout out to these talented people…
Press Shot: Alistair Underwood Video: Director – JJ Eringa Cover Illustrations: Iron Brain