A horrible hack


A God Among Insects

Year Released: 2004
Format: CD
Label: Calculated Risk Records
Reviewed by Kunal Nandi on Jun 13, 2007
If I was limited to 8 words per review, Iíd say ďThe Jesus Lizard, but about 15 times fasterĒ. Itís lucky that Iím not because that would be doing Humanfly a real disservice. Iíve not heard a record by a UK band that positively bristled with such psychotic energy in ages.

The Jesus Lizard comparison isnít unfair though. Both share a rock-solid rhythm section (the bassist used to be in the sadly-missed ďWe put the Dong into Doncaster!Ē power-trio J*R), over which a discordant guitar and vocal attack is slathered. The difference lies there, as the two guitars combine at times to produce a real wall of sound, with intertwining metallic leads, with some ambitiously psychedelic moments during the breakdowns on the longer songs, suggesting that this band are looking forward as well as rocking the fuck out in the here and now.

Humanfly are, like Coalesce and Khanate, another band with a make-or-break vocalist. If you can take this guyís high, strained, slightly phlegmy, Yorkshire-accented yelp (which you may recognise from his days in another sadly-missed combo Canvas), then itís plain-sailing. If you canít, then you should be able to appreciate the political and socialist commentary delivered in a concise and humourous manner, unless youíre dumb as well as deaf.

The way the album is structured almost demonstrates the way in which the band has progressed as musicians. The first three songs rocket out the speakers and all are over within about 4 minutes, but luckily the band havenít shot their load prematurely as the band settle into a sturdier groove with ďCum To My Techno PartyĒ. From then on the songs get slower, darker and longer, but what with the whole ďalbumetteĒ clocking in at about 20 minutes, Iím finding myself more interested in the short, sharp, punky outbursts, as itís the kind of thing you listen to in one sitting and it can be a lot to absorb. Hopefully they will stick around long enough to put out a full-length.

Try and get some 3D glasses to fully appreciate the nice artwork too.

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