Asylums' Genetic Cabaret: forceful without getting furious

Asylums build up a head of steam for third album Genetic Cabaret with producer Steve Albini

Asylums - Genetic Cabaret
(Image: © Cool Thing Records)

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Southend art-rockers Asylums might have thought it was just them feeling the confusion as they built up a head of steam for their third album with producer Steve Albini late last year. 

Now it transpires that their sense of dislocation was ahead of the game – and the game was about to be transformed. The ‘There’s a sun that never comes out’ strap line comes from A Perfect Life In A Perfect World and could almost be a repost to The Smiths.

Most of the song titles are self-explanatory – Catalogue Kids, A Town Full Of Boarded Up Windows, Who Writes Tomorrows Headlines, Yuppie Germs, Adrenaline Culture – and the pace is forceful without getting furious as Albini keeps the multiple sound layers distinct to let the vocals through. 

He allows one uncontrolled howl of anguish, on The Difference Between Right & Left, which makes the following, gentler The Miracle Age even more effective.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.