Album Review: Asylums – Genetic Cabaret

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Genetic Cabaret - Cool Thing Records

Asylums new album ‘Genetic Cabaret‘ drops tomorrow via Cool Thing Records, their new full length moves on from the neon ride of the debut album “Killer Brain Waves” and the bold exploration of “Alien Human Emotions“, ‘Genetic Cabaret’ is a seething tandem of beauty and ire. To theme it is to expect a riot to keep within the lines but look forward to political puzzling from protesting hearts, a pop-punk pop at the establishment, a demand for something else. ‘Genetic Cabaret‘ is engineered by the legendary Steve Albini at Electrical Audio, Chicago where the chaos of Brexit on their home turf was replaced with the horrific pantomime of Trump’s presidency, with the ever present spectre of the ongoing pandemic lurking in the background.

Straight Out The Traps Asylums his you with ‘Catalogue Kids‘, a melodic driven indie punk anthem, fuzzed up guitars and thundering bass lines drag you into the ‘Genetic Cabaret‘, this is followed by album’s the lead single, ‘Platitudes‘, an infectious blast that is underpinned by a haunting and distorted lead guitar. After the driven opening duo of tracks the ‘Genetic Circus‘ begins to ebb and flow, indie rockers ‘Are Perfect Life In A Perfect World‘, ‘Who Writes Tomorrow’s Headlines‘ and ‘Adrenaline Culture‘ are offset against the brooding ‘A Town Full Of Boarded Up Windows‘ and ‘The Distance Between Left And Right‘, the spiky fuzz of the albums title track, the bruising punk of ‘Clean Money‘ and ‘Yuppie Germs‘ and the indie anthems of ‘The Miracle Age‘ and ‘Dull Days‘.

Genetic Cabaret” could be an album that blurred into the indie crowd, there are distinct influences from the likes of The Jesus And Mary Chain, Spiritualised and Blur that we’ve all heard before, but Asylums have the same random spark that Fontaines DC, Culture Abuse and Metz possess that marks them out from the pack. There is an argument that turbulent times produce the best music, and it must be said the pandemic, Trump and Brexit, to name but three of the horrors besetting the planet right now, do seem to be fuelling releases that are inspired by frustration, resistance and anger. “Genetic Cabaret” is an album that joins the ever growing list of releases I’ve encountered recently that are providing some relief from the ravages of 2020, and for that I thank them.

Genetic Cabaret” can be pre-ordered on green vinyl, CD and cassette here