The cover of the Asylum Kids’ album ‘Fight It With Your Mind’ has a picture of an x-ray of a skull from the side with soundwaves, looking like they were made out of blood, moving through the mind of the owner of the skull. There is something a little disturbing with this image and it is therefore not too surprising when you plonk the record on to your turntable to find that the music is also unsettling.
As the title track opens the album, there is an immediate sense of edginess with a swirling and ominous bass guitar that sucks you over to the dark side. And this feeling stays with you throughout the song, even when the music swells to the angry chorus where we are told over and over again to ‘fight it fight it fight it with your mind’. Dino Archon’s bass prowls around the song like some sort of fictional devilish animal while Robbi Robb jumps around like a cage fighter, punching viciously at an unseen opponent.
The Asylum Kids were possibly the best punk band to come out of South Africa. They were smart, angry and dark. They lived on the fringes of society, tapping into the minds of the disaffected and disowned. They walked like the rough hero strides through an apocalyptic city that is in perpetual darkness. And where that movie hero would have a shotgun slung over their shoulder, the Kids have guitars. The music lures you into the darkness, but the message is to fight this darkness. They were the right band at the right time, questioning our society and its views.
Where to find it:
Black Poem Jugglers – Asylum Kids (1994), Tusk Music, WOND 123