|Artist: Human Aftertaste|
CD Title: White Man's Voodoo
Label: Octopoid Productions
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Human Aftertaste want to shock and disgust you. Like GWAR and Green Jelly before them, they are as much a theatrical concept as a band, with a revolving cast of characters that includes golfing witch doctors, evil executives, and an “AIDS Monkey” mascot. They’re a lot more than a gimmick, though, and their second album is not only competent, it’s even clever. Held together by heavy guitar riffs and spooky keyboards, this falls squarely on the metal side of the industrial fence, with a just touch of old-fashioned redneck rock ‘n’ roll thrown in for good measure. Front man Count Jabula growls and squeals in an insane drawl that’s a bit like Marilyn Manson by way of the trailer park. If there’s any fault on this album, it’s that the songs tend to all have a similar structure, culminating in layers of screamed vocals and crushing guitars in the chorus, but they take such interesting routes there that you’re willing to forgive them for it. “Porngroove” features guest vocalist Sigrid Ulve echoing weirdly over horror film keyboards, while nervous pianos dance with tense guitars over a moody drum machine on “The Squirm.” Lyrically, Human Aftertaste are a cut above what you might expect, with plenty of references to cult horror writer H.P. Lovecraft sprinkled in among the sex, drugs, and Satanism, and the title track is rife with legitimately-researched references to Haitian religion. Of course, the shout-along chorus of “Beat the drum/Beat the black goatskin drum” helps, too, with a tribal beat that you can’t resist pumping your fist to. Mullets aside, these freaks are just too talented to write off as a novelty act. Check out their corporate “infotainment” at www.humanaftertaste.com.
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