[Album Review] Humans- Noontide
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)



Release Date: February 24, 2015
Label: Hybridity Music

Noontide is most recent full-length release from Vancouver resident homo-sapiens Humans.  The tracks borrow from a spectrum of genres, everything from indie-pop to pure, unadulterated techno.  A tribute to the bands unspecific, and therefore all-inclusive name, the sounds on this album contain fragments of many modern musical influences.  It’s like a game, trying to figure out whom a particular riff or chorus drop could also belong to.  You can hear the mellow mantras of the XX with a few chips of Hot Chip, the mystical wallowing of Warpaint getting down and dirty to some LCD Soundsystem a la Caribou, a la Gorillaz, a la Animal Collective etc.  And I don’t mean this remark in a bad way. Humans definitely hold their own in composing original, head nodding, hip swiveling material.  This album is just proof of their chameleon-like talents (should they choose to use them) of and their abilities at being damn fine musicians.  I think decades from now we could look back on this group as one of those that best defined “the sound of today,” whatever that means.

This album is consistently catchy from start to finish.  Each song is propelled by danceable drums, and somewhere along the way, a deep synth that will buzz and crackles like electro-lightning.  A big shout out to the percussion samples on this album, the textures were so unique and satisfying and provided a cool contrast to the ultra sci-fi, ultra urban quality of the melodic instruments.  It was kind of like Humans turned a forest into a drum kit. 

“Watusi” opens in a state of tropical melancholia.  “Dub Paris” commences with Gregorian seriousness.  “Follow” is either a secret agent or a ballerina-of-the-future on an ultra important mission.  “At The Beach … ” well you will just have to listen to that one for yourselves.  And though I keep changing my mind, I think “Cold Soba” is my favorite track off Noontide.  It has this awesome euro-dub quality to it from decades gone by, and the colorful mix of instruments and hard-hitting melody that is sometimes diced, sometimes smoothly woven, creates the effect of multifaceted, edgy tapestry of a song.  (Also, there is maybe something Thom Yorke about it.)  What all these tracks have in common is despite their slight altercations in mood and setting, they will not let listeners off the hook until they have made us dance.

As long as you and those in your company enjoy some shimmy-shaking here and there, Noontide is really quite versatile.  You could throw it on at a party, you could throw it on and go for a jog, you could even play it at your grandma’s house. (Truly, there is nothing remotely offensive or abrasive about this album.)  Not only do some favorite familiar bands come to mind listening to this album, but other places, times, objects, and experiences.  It’s neat like that.  And pretty cool that an album can simultaneously be so many things all at once.  Just like people, like humans.  Right?  Right?   Right.