Fire in the Asylum got its start in 2009 in Los Angeles, and though the trio relocated to Denver last year, it still retains some of the classic Sunset Strip-inflected sound it developed there. But in its time here in Denver, the band has evolved into a musically multilingual powerhouse of guitar-driven rock, proving its prowess on this latest album.
Comparing “Poetry for the Apocalypse” to Fire in the Asylum’s self-titled 2009 debut is like comparing your naked baby photos to your senior yearbook. Frontman and guitarist Josh Phillips, bassist Roqui Lluma and drummer Graham Mueller have tempered their Strip swagger with art rock angularity, grungy introspection and some punky nose-thumbing to emerge with songs that are mature (sure), expertly played (of course) and, above all, potent.
Songs like “Little Death” (gosh, what’s that about?) and “Holding You Back” showcase Fire in the Asylum’s ability to deliver hard-hitting rock with earnest energy, memorable melodies and just enough lyrical complexity to keep the bros away. But the record’s highlight just might be “Circles,” a song that begins with Phillips’s unhinged, angsty howl, and then grows into a gritty, growly 5/4 monster that sounds like Soundgarden, when Soundgarden sounded like Bad Company. Steal it right here, then make sure to catch the live Fire in the Asylum experience — and pick up a copy of the album — on Thursday, Oct 27, at the Old Curtis Street Bar.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Eryc Eyl for consideration.
Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout for stories about Denver musicians doing extraordinary things. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.