Article by Joelle Laes.
If you’ve heard The Human Project’s previous album Origins, you already know what to expect. If this is your first time listening to this quartet from Leeds, let me give you an idea of what to expect from Clarion Call: 11 tracks of techy punk rock riffage with the occasional breakdown, singalongs and absolutely exceptional vocals.
In moshing terms: be prepared to go from a relaxed listen to stomping through the room, belting out the lyrics with fists in the air in a matter of seconds. Not advised to listen to while driving. Accidents will happen.
Where Origins was already politically charged, encouraging listeners to stop and question what they were made to believe, on Clarion Call The Human Project sound like a band that have ran out of patience. They are clearly expressing disappointment and anger about today’s political climate because they’ve had enough. You could say that’s a classic ‘punk’ approach, but it is far more than that. For starters, their lyrics are much more eloquent than the standard, “Fuck the government.”
The Human Project have found a way to make tech-punk feel atmospheric and build up to outbursts of air guitar-worthy riffage, in combination with exceptional high-pitched vocals. On Clarion Call they’ve successfully incorporated a post-hardcore vibe that reflects their sister-band Sounds of Swami, with whom they share guitarist Luke Yates and drummer Joe Dimuantes. The outcome is Propagandhi-esque at times; slightly more melodic but equally as trailblazing.
Desperate Times starts off the album slowly, quietly building with an enticing voice, leaving me excited for what’s to come. Desperate Measures seamlessly follows and I found myself literally deafened and amazed by the lyrical beauty of it. I advise you not to give in to your urge to put the volume up a notch on the first song. That One Percent, the first single to be release from the album, brings the right combination of heaviness, speed and the THP signature vocal harmonies.
The intro to The Rhetoric gets me pumped, while the lyrics get me thinking. “Who pulls the strings?” Knocked For Six continues with blithering speed and singalong material. The intro gave me actual butterflies. Definitely a favourite.
Where the first four tracks got me pumped and moshing around, Carrion delivers a nice breather. Though it only lasts a short while, it’s a nice break from the energetic heaviness. From the first note What We Always Do has me bouncing about, ready to sing along. This song reminds me of El Topo Goes Loco 2017, where I’m pretty sure I first heard this. It reminds me of the #gincident that occurred during their set. It was equally as brutal as their amazing live performance.
While there are some beautiful guitar melodies coming through, for me the main focus in Blame is the vocals. Musically, it almost feels like a plea being made. In Pride Before A Fall there is so much variety. From softly sung lines to loud screams that make for excellent singalongs, it’s a song that goes from slow to fast in mere seconds, with techy riffage galore. Love it. This might be my favourite track.
What strikes me is that the tracks on the second half of album are far longer and feel heavier than the first half. While the vocals feel less angry on these two, A Debt To Society and Clarion Call are the perfect end to this album that is a definite call to action.
Some albums can feel like a bunch of songs thrown together, but not this one. Every song is in the place it was meant to be; it feels very well thought out. Mind you, they’ve had five years to create it.
Thinking ahead of my top 10 releases of 2018: this one will be in it, there is no doubt in my mind about that. From slow intros to climaxes, singalongs, breakdowns, solos, techy bits and extreme riffage, this album has it all. Eleven out of ten.
The Human Project are self-releasing Clarion Call on July 6th, celebrating with two not-to-be-missed album launch shows. You can pre-order the album on CD or 12” vinyl now.
Catch them live:
- July 6th @ The Key Club, Leeds w/ Darko and Misfortune Cookie
- July 7th @ The Macbeth, London w/ Almeida, Lay It On The Line and COPE
- July 20th @ KNRD Fest, Hormersford, DE
- July 30th @ Gullivers, Manchester w/ Mute, Fair Do’s and Upstream Colour
- November 17th @ El Topo Goes Frigo, Mol, BE
Article by Joelle Laes.