Given the social and political shitstorm tearing through the UK right now, the timing couldn’t be more right for a band like Asylums. Hailing from Southend, the indie rockers are weighing in with this, their third offering, and, having roped in legendary producer Steve Albini (he of Nirvana’s In Utero and others fame), they’re going to make sure that Genetic Cabaret will be impossible to ignore.

Having already teased us with a couple of impressive singles, the Southend band is certainly ready to stamp their mark on the UK scene. Part Brit-pop, part indie, part grunge, part Brit-rock, tracks like “A Perfect Life In A Perfect World” and “Who Writes Tomorrow Headlines” sound like they been dragged out of the awesome ‘90s Britrock scene. While just rowdy enough for those sweaty clubs, Asylums pepper their songs with those melodic hooks that you won’t forget in a hurry. Raw, rough around the edges but packed with that Britpop energy, for the best part, Genetic Cabaret is packed with gems like “A Town Full Of Boarded Up Windows.” However, as they show on “The Miracle Age” they’re also not averse to slowing the pace a bit.

From start to finish Genetic Cabaret doesn’t contain one single duff track with “Yuppie Dreams” bringing up the rear of the album at a raucous pace alongside the fuzz-filled rock of the title track. The whole thing is rounded off with the heartfelt “Dull Days” a gentler offering from the band and one you can just picture holding the full attention of packed out rooms night after night. Probably the perfect way to sign off this album, you hope this is a taster of how massive this band is on the edge of becoming.

Of course, with Steve Albini twiddling the knobs, there was never any doubt that Genetic Cabaret would be anything other than a huge record. However, even without his Midas touch, Asylums have clearly got the songs, they’ve got the hooks and they’ve landed this monster of a record at just the right time. Could you argue that the popularity of the Britpop scene faded away some time ago? Possibly, but, armed with this album, Luke Branch and co are certainly leading the sound into a new decade sounding fresher and more vital than ever.

Genetic Cabaret Track Listing:

1. Catalogue Kids
2. Platitudes
3. A Perfect Life In A Perfect World
4. A Town Full Of Boarded Up Windows
5. Clean Money
6. Who Writes Tomorrows Headlines
7. The Distance Between Left & Right
8. The Miracle Age
9. Yuppie Germs
10. Genetic Cabaret
11. Dull Days

Run Time: 43:11
Release Date: July 17, 2020
Record Label: Cool Things Records


I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.