Broken toy piano and trash can drums sit next to metal riffage and menacing growls on Human Services’ Animal Fires. A diverse offering, it sounds at times as if a member of Animal Collective or Swans is conducting a quintet with members of Tool and Alice In Chains in a room with a Tom Waits poster. The album features different stylized vocals many overlapping in the same song (Rhinocide.) The song structures are equally schizophrenic, some songs slowly churning toward insanity over several minutes (The Edge of the Watering Hole/Onyedinci Yil Surusu) others jerking about with neurotic fills and breakdowns (The River Pig.) Then there’s the seventeen minute and six second live jam thrown on at the end for good measure…but here’s the thing. It’s actually fucking sweet. And I actually want to see this fucking band live.
The album artwork is fucking rad, so I hope there’s a vinyl release cuz I wouldn’t mind seeing that cover around the old chateau. And perhaps on my special edition vinyl release they will consider resettling the first few tracks towards the end. The really compelling material for me was in the last two thirds. Final thought, not sure if the persons who created this masterpiece are alcoholic rednecks or art school dropouts but if you’re either (or both) of those things, you’ll probably really like Animal Fires. – Review by Rex Bonney
Like a Shaman inviting you into the Underworld, the new album Animal Fires from Human Services pulls you in with every beat of the drum! The explosive four piece from Hampton Roads released their second full length album in September 2014. A mix of sludgy rhythms and at times gritty blues, this album combines all the elements needed to destroy any conceptions of genre The opening track “The Herd and Musth” has a hypnotic drum beat that intertwines with the overdriven bass tone, atmospheric guitar melodies and a savage vocal delivery only add to the intensity. Next up is one of the instrumental tracks called “Work Horse”. This track, along with the other instrumental segue ways, offer up a slightly futuristic tribal vibe. “Down to Your Last Goat” is the highlight of the album for me, it at times sounds like Neurosis but still maintains an identity rooted in blues chords. A few tracks like “The River Pig” might be a bit out of place with an almost industrial sound. But overall this album is a great step forward for the band. It’s rare to hear an album that effectively harnesses groove while still capturing a spastic and chaotic sound. – Review by Joshua Woodhouse
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