Asylum Closure CD

In Stoke-on-Trent, no one can hear you scream, I guess. Closure is a discography CD of Stoke’s most feared punk band of the ’80s, ASYLUM. With 31 songs of rough-as-fuck, noise-loving, sometimes barely listenable UK hardcore, this is definitely not an easy one, especially since the running order is sometimes a bit random and you don’t always know which songs are taken from which sessions (assuming it really matters). Even I could not take the thing in one sitting, and I am a resilient fellow when it comes to shit-fi hardcore. There are people among us who can actually tune their instruments and see songwriting as an essential part of the form of art known as music. ASYLUM were not these people. For a long time, ASYLUM were that sort of obscure, short-lived cult band that pioneered noisecore and made CHAOS UK and DISORDER sound like school choirs. In retrospect, their chaotic and obnoxious sped-up take on their neighbours DISCHARGE sounds both childish and incredibly ahead of its time. ASYLUM were the ultimate noise-not-music band, a stance, if not a way of life, that they proudly wore on their sleeves. Their finest (well…) recording Is This the Price? was reissued on vinyl in late 2021, and Closure is the definitive retrospective. The aforementioned session can be seen as an early example of proto-D-beat music, like EU’S ARSE, SUBVERSION, or SHITLICKERS, with a heavy focus on the most chaotic, noisiest side of it, and also as trailblazing of the harsh noise-not-music hardcore sound of LÄRM, RAPT, or PLASMID that would appear in the mid-’80s. The comparisons with the classic Japanese noisy hardcore bands (GAI and the like) are not irrelevant, either. They even influenced SCUM DRIBBLERS, an even more intense aural racket, who themselves influenced NAPALM DEATH, but then we all tend to retroactively create connections that might not be relevant (although they are definitely necessary in punk storytelling). This is an essential piece of history and a work that had to be done. If you are not already a fan of raw-as-fuck, DISCHARGE-ish hardcore, you should probably avoid this like the plague or your mother-in-law, but if you are interested in a band that sounds like a piss-soaked live tape of DISORDER hastily covering DISCHARGE, then Closure will be a sound investment. And it’s got a massive booklet full of details about the band’s “career” and an obi.

Asylum Is This the Price? EP

ASYLUM was an English punk band of short existence. Hailing from the harsh industrial environment of the Midlands, they played a few gigs, recorded a demo tape, and some of their tracks were released on compilations.  Now, you can hear for the first time on vinyl that semi-legendary demo, originally released in 1982 by Retaliation Records. What do we have here?  Six devastating tracks. Basically, it’s the blueprint of the sound of worldwide noisecore (especially Japanese) and extreme music in general: a magmatic mix of ultra-distorted guitars, fuzz-drowned bass, chaotic drums, and desperate, disembodied screams focused on personal and political lyrics. It’s beautiful. Mandatory listening.