ALBUM: Asylums – ‘Alien Human Emotions’

Released via their own label Cool Thing Records, a strong sense of fun and frustration fuels Southend-based rockers Asylums‘ brand new album, Alien Human Emotions. The band’s second record is a turbulent, tenacious collection of tracks that buzz with enthusiasm and self-awareness.

After the success of their critically-acclaimed debut Killer Brain Waves in 2016, Asylums have embarked on a new aural adventure. If they were presented differently, the tracks on Alien Human Emotions would shrink your heart with sadness, but the band’s riotous delivery makes this record a hopeful, heart-swelling affair.

The album kicks off with ‘Day Release To The Moon’, documenting a grand, but turbulent emotional journey that will “pull us closer to the sun / annihilate everyone,” with Jazz’s manic guitar riffs masking the dark side of vocalist Luke’s pessimistic wish. Henry’s relentless percussion punches through on second track ‘When We Wake Up’, which assaults the senses from start to finish. Luke’s anthemic lyrics invite listeners to take a “front row seat for Armageddon,” which sounds tempting against their back drop of manic guitar noise. ‘Bottle Bank’ follows with more of Jazz’s trademark spiralling riffs and Mike’s thundering bass lines, leaving listeners sweaty and short of breath just three tracks in.

The eponymous ‘Alien Human Emotions’ comprehends emotional black holes via dense bass lines and thoughtful lyrics, before the gentler ‘Millennials’ provides a moment for introspective reflection. Named after a social label that’s doused in negativity, Asylums have reclaimed the term and turned it into a thought provoking, comforting tune.

Just as listeners are on their way back down to earth, the toxic punk blur of ‘Napalm Bubblegum’ blasts them back into the band’s sonic atmosphere. Luke’s visceral Essex intonation and Henry’s savage drumming provide the ultimate punk-infused sound to bounce around your bedroom walls to. ‘Pause’ is an aptly named interlude track – even Asylums need to take a second to catch their breath sometimes.

‘Graveyard Tourism’ is a distraction from “morbid fascination”, whilst the timely ‘Homeowners Guilt’ dissects feelings towards “characterless buildings” and the unfair working-class reality of having to always make sure ends meet. The penultimate ‘Sexual Automation’ starts the gentle descent down to earth, manically resisting the “impulses you can’t castrate.” The rawness of ‘The Company You Keep’ closes the record on an optimistic note – an ode to true love, friendship and a poignant reminder to appreciate the people around you.

Alien in the sense that it blasts you into an sonic universe, but Human in its quest to make sure no listener feels left behind, Asylums’ Alien Human Emotions is an intense, joyful second record that kicks and comforts in equal measure.


Order your copy of Alien Human Emotions here.
Follow Asylums on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Kana Waiwaiku

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Beckie Margaret – ‘At Home (Where I Write)’

“’At Home (Where I Write’) is a reflection of how music can carry me out of the depths of my mind,” explains Essex song-writer & producer Beckie Margaret. Released via Cool Thing Records, Margaret’s bright, ear-melting voice on her second single will lift listeners up and out of their heads too.

Beckie’s first release ‘Cars and Catacombs’ received universal praise across the net and the airwaves and her follow-up is equally as charming. She left the crowd spellbound after performing it at her debut London gig at The Waiting Room for Parallel Lines last month (which we reviewed here), and can’t wait to see what she does next.

Listen to ‘At Home (Where I Write)’ below and follow Beckie Margaret on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Kana Waiwaiku

Kate Crudgington

LIVE: Beckie Margaret – The Waiting Room, London 28.09.18

(Originally posted on Gigslutz)

Familiarise yourself with the breath-taking talent of song-writer Beckie Margaret before she inevitably steps in to larger spotlights, performing to sold out crowds. She packed out The Waiting Room at her debut London gig on Thursday night (hosted by Parallel Lines), and proved that despite only playing live for the third time, she has a rare and precious gift for making music that can’t be ignored.

Inspired by the likes of Lucy Rose, Jeff Buckley and Bon Iver, Beckie’s songs are tender, intuitive and effortlessly delivered. She’s still at University in the final year of her song-writing degree, but there’s something about her voice and her stage presence that can’t be studied or learned in a classroom. It was a pleasure to behold someone so young look so comfortable whilst singing about love, life and trying to see the colour in the world when everything’s tainted by poor mental health.

Despite having only one single online at the time of the gig, Beckie’s set was full of modest, melodic songs which displayed her enviable musical and lyrical sensitivities. Supported by her label mates from Cool Thing Records (Luke & Jazz from Asylums played bass & guitar alongside her, whilst bassist Mike was on hand for guitar changes) Beckie performed her debut ‘Cars & Catacombs’ as well as her latest release ‘At Home (Where I Write)’ among other songs and all were delivered with elegance and precision. Her incredible cover of The Beatles’ classic ‘All You Need Is Love’ also acted as further proof of her remarkable and idiosyncratic style.

Beckie Margaret’s voice and natural charisma are unique and precious, and the Cool Thing Records family have clearly worked in harmony with her, nurturing and supporting her since the release of her debut single in 2016. We can’t wait to see what Beckie’s going to do next and we recommend you catch her now before she ultimately becomes uncatchable.

Support came from Calluna. Performing with a full band, front woman Heather shone (not just because of the glitter on her face) in the spotlight with her strong, sultry vocals. Perfectly billed alongside Beckie.

Follow Beckie Margaret on Facebook for more updates. Listen to her new single ‘At Home (Where I Write)’ on Spotify now.

Photo Credit: Kana Waiwaiku

Kate Crudgington