Jul 2012 22

Human Aftertaste - Black ToadHuman Aftertaste
Category: Goth / Electro / Industrial
Album: Black Toad
Stars: 3
Blurb: Disturbing and enticing, the latest album from this Illinois collective will not be for all tastes, but does offer something enjoyably different.


With a humorously theatrical approach that will surely conjure up images of demonic clowns and mad scientists, Human Aftertaste is far from any ordinary band. The Illinois collective blasts forth a musical and visual aesthetic that is as energetically deviant as it is irreverently entertaining, never restricted to a singular style and evoking the likes of Iggy and the Stooges crossed with Nine Inch Nails. Released via the band’s own Octopoid Productions, Black Toad is true to its pulpy associations of smarmy horror and humor, doing away with the conventions of electro/industrial and testing the audience’s ability to cope. Like the sonic equivalent of a late ‘80s Tim Burton film, “Succupie” begins the album with a thrusting beat and fervent vocal abandon creating a mixed bag of sexual tension and gleeful spookiness, the keyboard solo coda being especially notable for its tonal intricacy. Similarly, the sleazy guitar and strutting drumbeat of “Lights Out” would play well as soundtrack to a nightclub laden with spider webs and zombie strippers, the song ending with an eerie mélange of synthesized noise, while the throbbing synth bass and bursts of saxophone samples on “Pump that Pussy Up” make for a sensual yet disturbing track. Songs like “Dummy for Love” and “I Can’t Say Why” both move stridently with pulsating arpeggios and synth leads befitting a classic video game if not for the wild vocal delivery and layers of noisy accompaniment, while “The Great Nothing” and “Change” take on a much more darkly atmospheric character, although still skating the fine line between flippancy and sincerity. This is especially so on the latter track, which closes out the album with a melancholy yet oddly uplifting chord progression that will surely remind listeners of the end of every comic drama directed by John Hughes… if he were given to bouts of horror-induced mania, the squelching keyboard solos bringing Black Toad to a satisfying and strangely abrupt finish. Throughout the album, there is a charmingly retro vibe to the production as each synth patch and drumbeat sounds as if culled from some ‘80s synth library, the vocals screaming with intensity reminiscent of Danny Elfman during his tenure with Oingo Boingo. This old school production sound coupled with the band’s bluntly haunting and quirky approach assures that many will be put off by Human Aftertaste, but that is indeed part of the band’s charm. If nothing else, Black Toad offers a rather welcome deviation from the norm of goth/industrial music.
Track list:

  1. Succupie
  2. Lazer Gun
  3. Lights Out
  4. Dummy for Love
  5. Pump that Pussy Up
  6. The Great Nothing
  7. Black Toad
  8. Bring On the Capes
  9. I Can’t Say Why
  10. Bled
  11. Change

Human Aftertaste Website http://humanaftertaste.com
Human Aftertaste MySpace http://www.myspace.com/humanaftertaste
Human Aftertaste Facebook https://www.facebook.com/humanaftertaste
Human Aftertaste Twitter https://twitter.com/HumanAftertaste
Octopoid Productions
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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