Humans - Are Dead (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Are Dead (2010)


At eight tracks and barely eight minutes long, there's not much time for the Humans to make an impression, but in that short period of time they manage to pack in a whole load of music (din?!) into a package that bulldozes its way into your consciousness with the subtlety of an army of jackhammers.

This is all done with a sound which, to me, brings to mind one of the mightiest trios ever to grace the world of music: the Minutemen. This is a jerky, edgy, rambunctious world of noise conveyed with a rhythm section that appears to be intent on causing damage to their instruments as well as the ears of those listening to the band, all going on whilst a guitar weaves its way around the songs either with well-placed leads or a thunderous wall of chords.

Whilst to some it might seem as if this is just short, sharp blasts that really have no coherence even within each song, but listen hard and it is evident that these concise explosions are well-thought out and ably constructed tracks that waste no time attracting your attention. The vocals of Joel Henline are effectual where employed, but it is not too difficult to imagine all of these songs as instrumentals, all of which would work well.

The album contains a raw energy that creates a frantic, loose quality that belies the tightness underpinning what the band is doing. The unconventional nature of the structure of these songs is a good reminder that a lot of music these days follows a formula that, whilst simple and effective, sometimes needs shaking up.

If you blink, this EP is over, but the good thing is that you can just put it back on, blink and listen to it again. A very good album with a fantastic booklet with a revolving face! Time and effort has gone into this whole package and Humans need to be congratulated on the outcome.