Human Impact - Genetic (Cover Artwork)

Human Impact

Genetic (2020)

Ipecac Recordings

After Chris Spencer left Unsane in 2019, he formed Human Impact with members of Cop Shoot Cop, Swans, and Xiu Xiu. They released their debut full length in the spring of 2020, followed by a series of standalone singles, the most recent of which is Genetic.

“Genetic”, like so much of Human Impact’s work, is a vision of a dystopian future; this time specifically on the very real possibility of customizing babies from the ground up through the alteration of genes. Of course it wouldn’t be a Human Impact song if everything didn’t go horribly, horribly wrong.

As one might expect from members of these bands, Human Impact produces experimental rock, full of glitchy electronics and encompassing soundscapes. “Genetic”, however, is actually one of their most traditional sounding tracks. There is a conventional arrangement to the lyrics and the music, and even with a few bleeps and bloops in the background, the overall sound is akin to an early alternative rock track. Think mid-career Midnight Oil with just a splash of Ministry.

Likewise, the performance is above average. Spencer’s speak/sing vocals loom in the center, but would do well to be less limited in the mix. The guitar work is meandering and fun, with plenty of tone play and feedback. Drums are sure to use as much space around them as possible, which is a satisfying immersion. Still, as was an issue with the early alternative rock I cited, the mood never shifts throughout the song, leaving it feel a little flat and aimless.

There’s no doubt that Human Impact have already made some great works. They are a talented bunch that produce some truly visionary pieces. “Genetic” is by no means a bad song, but I wouldn’t recommend it as one’s first introduction to the band.