Human Impact’s first recordings are a dark mirror held up to the band’s collective pre-history – the sound and story of Unsane, Swans, Cop Shoot Cop, and New York City itself. It’s sound is cinematic post-industrial filth rock, a dozen run down subway stops away from recognizable civilization, as futuristic as it is grounded in its sordid heritage. The result is a potent, hard-boiled distillation of this sonic ethos.
Chris Spencer’s infamous Telecaster assault cuts a more nuanced path (though no less intense), downplaying distortion for razor edged chording and note choices – a heaviness more implied than hammered home. Jim Coleman’s electronics and sampling provides an overarching dystopian soundscape, an uneasy, agitated framework for Spencer’s more earthbound guitar and vocals, here more wary than antagonistic, more considered than accusatory. Anchoring this shifting territory in place, the surgical punctuations of drummer Phil Puleo (Cop Shoot Cop, Swans) and the dead-on bass contortions of Chris Pravdica (Swans), Puleo and Pravdica toying with rhythm, circling it like sharks, and at other times, driving it home with lockstep precision.
Recorded at BC Studios by veteran New York noise sculptor Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop) and recorded and mixed by Alan Camlet at Hoboken Recorders. Human Impact are a four-man hit squad controlling, gainfully, a musical genre they helped build. As much a nod to a pre-Giuliani, unsterilized New York as a soundtrack to a dystopian Ballard book, Human Impact is the score to a challenging future fast approaching.