The Human Machine -Contrashiva - EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: April 28, 2012
With only three songs in a little over ten minutes, the debut effort from The Human Machine seems to come and go before an impression can be made. Fortunately for them, though, this is also because each song is different from the next, and honestly, there really only needed to be three songs for The Human Machine to sufficiently make their mark and show everyone who they are. With an impressive blend of styles and a showcasing of talent, the EP is able to blend atmospheric post-rock with psychedelic math rock to create something quite unique and interesting.
The first song, "The Golden Calf," begins with a minute of ambient guitars over a muffled World War II radio broadcast, setting the mood for gentle harmonies. The vocals do start off on a bit of a sour note, but the song has a nice mellow groove throughout, displaying soft vocals and smooth transitions through sections in various time signatures. It seems to go by fast since the intro takes up a lot of the song, but it works as a great introductory track to the EP. The best part about that song, and probably the others as well, is the production, especially the guitar tone. For being self-recorded and produced, there is an impressive level of sound quality, displaying a balance of spacey guitar riffs with a tone halfway between clean and distorted that really gives the songs a strong edge. There is also a nice atmospheric tone outlining the instrumental on each track, further deepening the post-rock element.
The next song, "Heaven," is more upbeat and, unlike the others, is more psychedelic than post-rock. The song works well as a bridge between the first and last tracks, giving the EP a bit more diversity. The closing track, "White Li(n)es," goes back to what "The Golden Calf" did by shifting the focus more on the ambient instrumental. It starts off with the same mellow style and tone as the first track, but soon picks up and begins to highlight the more energetic math rock sections. The vocals are strong and compliment the impressive instrumental quite well, and as the song begins to slowly fade in energy, the theme of the album is able to come to a subtle ending.
The Human Machine has definitely created a unique work with Contrashiva. It's definitely not your everyday EP. They do a lot to set themselves apart from similar artists. Each song provides numerous different elements that keep things interesting and still stay catchy and fun. While it's not the most wildly creative and exciting album out there, it's definitely a worthwhile listen.