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Asylum: Is This The Price? 7"

Asylum: Is This The Price? 7"


Tags: · 80s · anarcho · hcpmf · noise punk · recommended · reissues · UK
Regular price
$10.00
Sale price
$10.00

Formed in 1981 by a crew of hardcore punx and skins from Stoke-on-Trent in the industrial Midlands of England, Asylum fully embraced the ‘Noise Not Music’ rallying call.

The missing link between Discharge and Japanese Noisecore, their sound is characterised by detuned ear-piercing distortion: buzzsaw guitars, fuzzed bass, charging drums and gargled vocals battle each other in a maelstrom of lo-fi production murk that reflects the bleak outlook of their lyrics.

Only existing for a brief moment in time (playing a handful of mainly local gigs and releasing one demo tape and the occasional track on compilation tapes) and obscure even during their existence, Asylum were nonetheless influential, their ‘1,000 M.P.H. Hardcore Punk’ inspiring other U.K. groups such as Skum Dribblurzzzz and Napalm Death. (Nic Bullen)

This release contains the 6 Track demo Is This The Price? Which was originally released as a tape only EP on Retaliation Records. The tracks have been remastered and mark the first time Asylum have released anything on vinyl.


Our take: Demo Tapes, a sister label to La Vida Es Un Mus and Sealed Records, brings us a vinyl version of this obscure 1981 tape from Stoke-on-Trent, birthplace of the almighty Discharge. Formed in Discharge’s wake, Asylum took the “noise not music” aesthetic to its logical limit. In fact, while Asylum may have influenced subsequent noise merchants like Napalm Death and presaged noise punk groups like Confuse and Gai, I think the music captured on this release is even more extreme and chaotic than those bands’ output. While Asylum made their racket with musicians’ tools—guitar, bass, drums, and voice—when i listen to Is This the Price?, I question whether this is music at all, something I rarely do with even the most extreme and noisy music. While there is a hazy sense of rhythm underpinning the drummer’s thrashing and the vocalist’s shouts, I’m hard-pressed to identify even the vaguest sense of order in what is emanating from the guitar and bass amps. Yet, despite my inability to hear any sort of structure, Asylum’s “songs” have arrangements, since there are moments when one or more instruments drop out and then rejoin the cacophony, apparently on cue. Maybe these are songs, but played and/or recorded with such little regard to convention that they have nearly evaporated? I’m not sure, but I know that Is This Price? is a new (low? high?) bar for wildness, chaos, and disorder in my record collection. If that’s your thing, you gotta hear this. If not, then move along… there’s nothing for you to see here.