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Humanzi - Tremors

Humanzi, Tremors

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

TAKE a chill pill before entering the listening experience that is Humanzi’s Tremors LP – it’s a ferocious record.

The Dublin-based foursome are an angry bunch and this fury is reflected in their post-punk music.

Their songs reflect the frustrations surrounding them – from the thirsty quest for fame, money and power that’s ruining many people, to the situation in Iraq and Ireland’s support for it.

Frontman Shaun Mulrooney made a name for himself when he hijacked the stage at the Dublin leg of a world-wide anti-war demonstration on March 18, playing a three-song protest before blasting Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern’s friendship with George Bush.

And his continued rage is fully in evidence on tracks such as Song For Understanding, one of the most clearly delivered statements of intent that boasts incendiary lyrics such as “you gotta stand up for what you believe in or you’re wasting your life” and “you are confused and isolated”.

The guitars are slightly more restrained than usual on this record, while Mulrooney’s vocals are more pronounced.

Had there been more moments of this quality throughout the rest of the album, it may have made more of a lasting impression.

As things stand, it’s a hit-and-miss affair that veers between the excellent and the ordinary.

Opening track and most recent single, Diet Pills And Magazines gets things flowing in familiar fashion with some Primal Scream-style guitar riffs and an observant rant against a society that’s becoming obsessed with good looks and material goods, forking out for diet pills that might help to make them look as wafer thin as some of the celebrities that are all too frequently splashed across the covers of magazines.

By the time the chanting chorus of “this is the shit, so get used to it” kicks in, you might be inclined to shout along with it.

Sadly, the album is let down by fast and furious tracks such as 6 Gun, I Want Silence, Help Me In The Morning and Mass Hypnosis (Psychosis), during which the guitars are really let off the leash and blend into one punk-laced mess. During such moments, Mulrooney’s vocals get lost in the mix and scream to be heard, rather than making any salient points.

It’s a shame, for in tracks such as Out On A Wire and former single Long Time Coming the band shows some complex musical layering and a really commanding set of lead vocals that makes their lyrics all the more striking.

The former, in particular, is one of the album’s highlights thanks to a thrilling mix of spiky guitar riffs and heady vocals – think Razorlight, only harder.

Some of the beats on tracks like Out On A Wire and Fix The Tracks also lend them a dance-floor appeal that you can imagine would heat things up considerably.

But while there’s undoubtedly much to admire on Tremors, the album ultimately frustrates because of the gulf that exists between its best tracks and its worst.

Humanzi clearly have a bright future ahead of them and this is a very promising debut but they are at their best when keeping it in check a little. A little more restraint could see them going a very long way.

Track listing:

  1. Diet Pills And Magazines
  2. 6 Gun
  3. Out On A Wire
  4. I Want Silence
  5. Long Time Coming
  6. Tremors
  7. Song For Understanding
  8. Fix The Cracks
  9. Help Me In The Morning
  10. Get Your Shit Together
  11. Mass Hypnosis (Psychosis)