Dystopia - Human = Garbage (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Dystopia

Dystopia: Human = Garbage

Human = Garbage (1994)

Life Is Abuse


4.5
This is the single most hateful, desperate, misanthropic punk album ever recorded, and every time you listen to it, it will hit you like a fucking shrapnel burst to the throat. There is some sick, twisted shit going on in Human = Garbage, and it really has to be heard to be believed. Dystopia plays ...

This is the single most hateful, desperate, misanthropic punk album ever recorded, and every time you listen to it, it will hit you like a fucking shrapnel burst to the throat. There is some sick, twisted shit going on in Human = Garbage, and it really has to be heard to be believed. Dystopia plays a mix of grind, crust, and sludge that somehow is the heaviest shit ever. I really don't want to do a track-by-track breakdown, but I feel like I need to get my inner fanboy on, so here goes.

The first five tracks on the CD are the actual Human = Garbage 12" tracks, and are all crust-core classics. The first track, "Stress Builds Character" begins with a rant from drummer/vocalist Dino, and it really lets you see inside his head. It's a wonder that Dino is still with us; the vocals are some of the most pained and bizarre that I've ever heard, and have more emotion than any of those third-rate "emo" bands y'all seem to love so much. Later in the song, guitarist Matt's vocals come in, but they're more of the stereotypical death grunt variety.

"Hands That Mold" is a typical Dystopia song, focusing on mankind's collective disregard for the environment. This song, arguably, best illustrates Dystopia's self-professed "Love Earth / Hate People" philosophy. "Sanctity" begins with sound samples of various suicides, eventually repeating the line "I can no longer endure the pain," and then segueing to Matt and Dino screaming "fear of life!." It's truly a powerful, and frightening moment.

"Ignorance of Pride" also begins with a fairly long sample, and I think it's about murder, or maybe drug abuse, and it's still a pretty hideous song. The last song on the original LP, "Love / Hate" is the scariest of all. It begins with some gutwrenching feedback, and then pulls out the samples of men talking about why they abused and murdered their wives and girlfriends. One even says, "I never hit her. I killed her, but I never hit her." Honestly, where do they find this kind of stuff? The most shocking, sickening moment comes when, amidst all the samples of abusive men, comes Kathleen Hanna's "We're Bikini Kill, and we want revolution girl-style now!." What was a triumphant moment in "Double Dare Ya" is turned into sadistic irony.

The non-album tracks, taken from Dystopia's splits with Embittered and Grief, round out the CD, but have even worse Cookie Monster vocals from a new vocalist, and are purely nonessential.

The art style has to be mentioned when talking about Dystopia. Taking influence from both the anarcho-punk collage art and inner-city graffiti culture, Dystopia blends images of societal decay, humanity's destruction of the planet, and some almost-illegible writing to create one of the best lyrics booklets ever.

Frankly, this album is a crust-metal classic, and deserves to be heard by everyone with an interest in the genre. It's the kind of record you don't want your parents to know you own, lest they send you in for counseling. Truly a sickening, painful, brutal album to listen to, but it is definitely an "emotional safety valve." Not something to listen to when you're in a good mood, but if you feel like beatin' the shit out of everyone you see (or worse) consider putting Human = Garbage on.