Essex quarter Asylums received much acclaim on their debut release Killer Brain Waves, and as eith any sophomore album there’s always that anticipation of “what can we expect?” and “can the band top their last release?” It doesn’t seem like a difficult task for Asylums at all, as they make a return this summer with yet another collection of feel-good tracks in the form of new album Alien Human Emotions.
Single ‘When We Wake Up’ is a summer hit if we ever heard one – it’s fun and poppy and got that certain quality that just feels like having fun with your mates on a sunny day, downing a couple of drinks. With hooks aplenty throughout the record, Asylums remind us quick enough that no matter what lyrical theme they’re touching on there’s no doubt just the right amount of catchiness to lure you in. The kooky title track has a guitar line that was definitely written to have a little dance to.
“Are we millennials?” the band ponder in the track ‘Millennial’, and here we’re shown a more dazey side to the band, with a floaty track you can easily sway to. Almost the exact opposite is the contrasting and punkier ‘Napalm Bubblegum’, which possesses an unpolished, noisy feel. From swaying along, you’ve now moved along to light headbanging. The charm of the band is that there can be something dark about it, but above everything else there’s a danceability to it, as tracks like ‘Critical Mass’ will prove.
In short, Asylums’ new record is fun and enjoyable. Even in contexts of social or political commentary, it’s an easy listen – something not all bands would be able to achieve. So to answer the question of whether or not the band have managed to tackle the daunting sophomore album, the answer is probably they’ve managed to do so even better than anyone was expecting them to.