Monday, June 25, 2012

Human Teenager - Animal Husbandry 8.4


                Human Teenager makes warped, tattered shards of crystal-clear pop. This is the catchiest weirdest stuff I’ve heard for some time. Gary War and Prehistoric Blackout are behind this oddness. Actually this is the best project I’ve heard from either of them. So many weird things come through what sounds like an ancient tape, banished to the furthest reaches of some obsessive music collector’s closet. There is a certain joy behind Animal Husbandry’s weird approach to pop music. One might call it giddy. 

                On the opener ‘Fourth Reich’ that giddiness is apparent. An obvious influence would be Ariel Pink’s early work. But that only brings you part of the way there. No, there’s something stranger going on here. Yep, that’s why the chorus ‘Welcome to the Fourth Reich’ has a sneering sarcastic vibe to it, as if it mocks the very essence of strictly defined pop music. The Residents toyed with this idea on ‘The Third Reich ‘n Roll’. Here though Human Teenager updates that subversive idea of pop music as a means of control. ‘Locate Yourself’ is even more direct in communication, with a basic drum beat leading the dark 80s psyched-out vibe. ‘Mainly Adult’ worms its way into your mind with an instantly catching bass line. And ‘Special Victims Unit’ takes a more nightmarish approach to the songwriting as it drifts off into space. 

I’m pretty excited that Spectrum Spools appears to be expanding its palette. Finally warped pop appears to be getting its due. The term ‘experimental pop music’ may finally have a use, after languishing from disuse for so long.

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