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Official Website - http://human-services.com/



Human Services – S/T (Self-Release)
By Jay Snyder
June 15, 2012

Igon mastermind Jeff Liscombe (who has also served time in Lunch, Ad Nauseam, No-Fi, etc.) finally returns with some new music. I’m not sure who makes up the mysterious amalgamation of personalities in Human Services (apparently Igon’s guitarist is also part of this project, though his name escapes me right now), but I’m always psyched to hear new music from Jeff and co. While a ton of bands are getting a lot of attention droning, screaming, sludging, and noising it up these days, I always felt Igon never got the respect they deserved, even when you could buy their records from now defunct, legendary sludge label Berserker Records. They always seemed to be passed over, but I doubt anyone in the band gives a damn; these guys are lifers at this point, and I’m confident they’ll continue making music no matter who’s not buying. But this debut release by Human Services could very well bring them some much needed attention with its diverse soufflé of sludge, stoner, noise, psychedelic, and power electronics influences. There’s a fucked-up, and frightening feel all throughout the album’s 12, completely unique from one another tracks, and anyone who has cut their teeth following labels like Shifty, Berserker, Satan Rock, and At a Loss should find a lot to love on this S/T slab.

“A Love Song” creates a snapshot of trembling horror with all of the feelgood freedom that comes with a latent fungal infection bubbling to the surface of the skin. Liscombe hasn’t lost one iota of his aggression, that’s for sure…his rabid, double-tracked screams and shouts are run through an FX blender while a lone bass guitar plucks out a bluesy melody, and a rusted over guitar screeches in the background. This stuff makes Sunn((0)) look like the weak ass shit that they “play.” I’m not one who goes gaga for sheer noise much, but this stuff will run in the door, steal your children, and bang your wife before you even have a chance to bat an eyelid; this is the real fuckin’ deal. So, what a surprise when “A General Debility” lights up a spliffage of riffage early on, a sinking, stoner smacked negative groover that’s somewhere between Kyuss, 16, Kita (Where the hell did this awesome band go?), and Liscombe’s long forgotten, doom swagger destroyers Ad Nauseam. Jeff’s ravaged shouts carve out decipherable, sharply chiseled hooks that crest with each surging riff as the blown-out battery of stop/start percussion and crisp snare fills only furthers the band’s deadly intent. One of the song’s coolest attributes is the way the rhythm section pulls back and lets that intoxicating, almost melodic main riff have center stage on more than one occasion; allowing it to groove for a few hypnotic seconds before bringing back the pounding abandon of the drums and the feral crackle of Liscombe’s forceful screams. The lyrics are also resonate, and got stuck in my craw a lot easier than expected, “Lean back, your hair’s long, slick tricks, too slow, handshakes and tight grip, hold tight, moist lip, weak stream, you’re washed up, stretched out, you’re gone,” awesome flow of thought type stuff that builds with a fearsome malevolence and anthem heavy quality working in total tandem with the riff/rhythm combo.

But this is an ever changing album, with each song taking on a brand new vibe from the one that preceded it, and the immediately following “Warning Sirens for Animal Fires,” couldn’t be more different from the mighty grooves heard moments earlier. Instead, the band tackles free form noise, satanic sampling, corrosive grind, and cough syrup addled vocal vitriol like “A General Debility” never even happened (ok, the cough syrup vocal screams were present in the aforementioned number). Normally, drastic thematic shifts like this could throw me out of the mood, but I’ve grown accustomed to Igon’s psychotic freakouts and find myself filled with the same feelings of all out love toward Human Services’ unnatural songwriting ethic. And that’s what happens over the course of the rest of the record, the unnatural. You get a dark, gothic keyboard inflected number with deep clean vocals, jazz breaks, and scrambled signal processing drone with “Failsafe”, sparse haunting noise-rock with beefy stoner riffs layered over thumping rhythms in ”Squirrel Cage”, then the fiercest noise-doom-experimental-melodic rocker that will further jackhammer your brain matter out your earholes (“Mad at Clouds”), followed by the heavily electronic/industrial Cop Shoot Cop inspired debauchery of “Take out the Mast,” buttressed by a series of clattering white noise numbers (“Mesmass,” “Demixmas I,” and “Demixmas II”), and finally tribal sludge/noise surgery via “The Eater” and closer “A Lust Song.” I feel like I’m shortchanging the songs by refusing to write a paragraph about each of them, but there’s so much intricate stuff going on here that the only way to find out if you’ll like the variety or not is to hear it for yourself.

Human Services pick up where Igon left off on their debut S/T release. This is not music for everyone. This is nasty; grating shit with a serious set of personality disorders on hand, and a bipolar disposition running from track to track that’s downright terrifying. Folks looking for order and organization in their listening diet will probably have a headache long before the first track finishes…but there’s a feeling here, an all-encompassing aura of evil that I just can’t shake. None of the cuts feel placed at random, instead traversing a divine path that’s meant for front to back listening. There’s a little something for everyone in Human Services, and anyone that still clings to those glory days of Berserker Records and the mp3.com sludge/experimental riff boom of the early 2000s (I’m still clinging) owe it to themselves to throw this on the essential list. Already looking forward to a second platter of this craziness! I’ll tack on an extra point or two for the awesome, DIY packaging the disc comes in.


The members of Human Services have previously played in ad naseum, anus grin, the nofi, the phillip michael thomas search party, the minus men, igon, sprawl, sudden adult death syndrome, lunch, and pork flavour.


PEOPLE is a chilling and imaginative masterpiece in dedicated memory to life
as it was before a child learns to cope with the realization that there will
always be a source of strife in adulthood. After listening to tracks
like "With a Smile on His Face," and "My Wife has a Roommate," you sense an
apathetic complacency to reality building a tolerance for the inevitable
trials of human existence. "Uneasy Words," is a haunting and confrontational
song, sonically unlike any other on the album. It is my personal favorite on this effort.
Previous material from these Virginia gentlemen followed a different groove.
This recording is more structured in song writing technique and on a more
sophisticated and developed level of damaging lyrical pursuit. For a
limited time the PEOPLE release will available as part of a Deluxe Edition

Don't Let Mother
With A Smile On His Face
Mr. Lanerez Never Had A Story
She Dreams In Chunks Of Crust And Cream
My Wife Has A Roommate
Trials Of Lawrence Langhorne
Lets Execlude Kathy
(No People In) The Land Of Butterflies And Wonderfullness (and Pretty Little Animals)
Uneasy Words (Minor)
The Elegant Man

Lost-it / Igon – Split CD (Satan Rock Records)
By Jay Snyder
February 13, 2007

Igon round out the second part of this split with their crushing blend of
doom/noise that is smothered in electronics complete with pounding, tribal
drums, weird swirls of guitar/noise and the occasional venomous vocal
deeply buried in the mix. It’s like Rwake (well, mainly the first track
and some of the old stuff I heard) even more tripped out at times. I still
remember hearing these guys a long time ago, being recommended to me by
Brad of Berserker Records (now that is a long time ago) it is just weird
actually having a little bit of material by them to play at my beck and
call now. Their first track, “Triangle Shortwaste” is doom smothered in
electronics and really wins an award for being some of the most spaced out
shit I have ever heard. The second track, “The Hog Evil” is an epic drone
piece that soothes at one moment and hurts the ears the next. Both of
these Igon tracks were produced by Steve Austin, so you should know the
kind of sound quality to expect there. This is a damn fine split album.
Just because it has been out for awhile, don’t sit idle and miss out on
grabbing it up. This is rare stuff that deserves to be heard, so check it out!