Saturday, 16 June 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #220 - Light Asylum, "Light Asylum"

Quite uptight for synth pop; not as louche as you might expect. Bit more aggressive, insistent and/or jubilant. A powerful contralto voice burning at the middle of it.

It smashes open with a hard drum machine riff, singing about a fortress opened wide. Another opening like gunfire leading into "You judge me so hard/Like you were a God", singing out of the other side of disco escapism: the defensive desire to repel the critical gaze. "IPC" is also turning defence into attack with grunts along about getting "25 to Life/Smoking marijuana in my city" while alarms and whip noises rub against other in the background. A bit Mega City One; could almost have been on the Drokk album. It carries on quite relentless, like, with "Heart Of Dust" (touch of the MIA in front of a synth percolator) or "At Will" (NIN lines about "watching your skin crawl"). It's not industrial exactly, too sparse and spacious for that - but a similar desire to dig in and explore the anger. Leather hats add to the s&M, industrial cross over feel; sweaty synths and singing through gritted teeth.

Horse whinneys crop up unexpectedly on "A Certain Person" to close the album. That's unpredtctable. But when the mood turns a bit more romantic, the quality drops off and the lyrics are exposed; "Always nice to see you" isn't rose petals in the street, is it? The intensity of the tracks outweighs the words. Although the repetition makes up for their flimsiness more than a bit.Nice line on "Shallow Tears" about "honey dripping from the sun" though.

"Nobody's innocent/While people are doing time."

Rating: Insistent Contralto out of Industrial Synth Pop

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