Humanzi describe themselves as “four disgruntled, illegitimate children of the Dublin City Party scene”, yet on their debut album they make it sound like there are four hundred adults having it large in a warehouse with the loudest instruments money could buy them.
It’s a commendable approach, and certainly not one for the faint hearted, as they grab you by the scruff of the neck in opening track Diet Pills And Magazines, setting you down with a whimper some forty minutes later after the distortion of Mass Hypnosis (Psychosis) has passed.
Think elements of Kasabian and Primal Scream, remove the hinges from the vocals and you have something approaching the Humanzi sound. It’s no surprise to learn the Scream are top of the list of the band’s influences, for this album is almost a louder version of Xtrmntr.
For statements of intent Diet Pills And Magazines is a rousing opener. “This is the shit so get used to it!” bellows Shaun Mulrooney, clearly a man ready to air his issues through music. The high octane rush of guitars is good for the endorphins from the outset, never knowingly under produced and even better on headphones. Everything is big here – rhythm, bass, guitar and vocals are all pumped up and charge out of the blocks with great volume and power, and a complete lack of grace. This almost undoes the later tracks, which bluster through less immediate material but get away with it due to their sheer balls.
By then though you’ll be on the floor already, for the first half really hits hard, lyrically as well as musically. I Want Silence is one of these tracks, suddenly paring down the sound for the chanted chorus but cranking everything up once again seconds later, lest the band should be found to possess a sensitive side.
Indulgence isn’t the name of the game here, and nor is being loud for the sake of it. Like Kasabian, the band make a thrilling noise that demands to be played as loud as possible, and major on anthemic vocals, even if theirs take a few more plays to sink into the brain.
The cavernous drums that open Tremors herald a track agog with excitement, while the urgent bass line that starts Out On A Wire leads to an anthemic chorus and a high voltage guitar solo. There are strong whiffs of Joy Division here, and a middle section that could easily have been plucked straight out of Transmissions.
Humanzi aren’t too derivative though, they know how far to take an influence before they stamp their own distinctive style on proceedings. Loud, rough and mostly inspiring, this is a record guaranteed to remove those pesky cobwebs from the ceiling of your living room.