Independent Venue Week saw The Horn, St Albans host a brilliant lineup of acts, including intense rock four piece Asylums headlining on Wednesday evening (25th January). The satirical cynicism behind their lyrics and heavy blaring guitar makes Asylums one of the most exciting, crazy rock bands out there currently.
The band (made up of Luke, Jazz, Henry and Michael) remind me a bit of bands like BlackWaters or Black Foxxes, mainly in terms of the heaviness and raucous on-stage presence they have. They released debut album Killer Brain Waves last year, and the messy guitar and energetic intensity behind the thrashing drumming gives their music a wild filthy rock sound.
The energy channelled on Wednesday evening was unbelievable, and incredibly captivating, drawing heavy mosh pits from the crowd which just added to the raw DIY-rock vibe inside the tiny cramped venue. Their best tracks of the night for me were Wet Dream Fanzine or I’ve Seen Your Face In A Music Magazine, both of which captured more heaviness and aggression on stage than they do on record. Energy is something the band encaptured perfectly on stage; their performance was very sweaty and rough, with a deep intensity throughout their set.
The band had drawn a brilliant crowd too, with dancing and head banging and moshing for the entirety of their set. What I love about Asylums is how much fun they were having on stage, and how rough and intense their sound was. It’s feel-good, heavy rock music; not as dark or intense (lyrically at least) as some of the other bands that played the venue for IVW, like Fiende Fatale or Strange Bones, but bold and aggressive all the same with the grit of the guitar and heavy rich beat the drum and bass guitar had giving their music that intense head-banger effect.
It was a fantastic show, with support from punk rock bands The 924s and Love Buzz. The thrilling intensity Asylums have live is quite something to experience, and they were a fantastic choice by Juicebox to headline the Horn for Independent Venue Week.
© All photos to Sahera Walker