CD Review

V/A – “Human Failures”

By Marcus Pan

Human FailureThe problem with stoner rock lies within the name of its genre. For those who truly get into the feel of the style, using all the chemical appreciation therein, this won’t be a problem. The thing is, really, that when you’re high time is twisted. A day seems like an hour…and a seven minute guitar driven repetitive dirge seems like thirty seconds of playing. I like Spiritu, and have since they hit me in ’02 with their self-titled from Meteor City[1], and the group can surely hang with the greats like Blind Dog[2] and 18 Speed Tranny[3].

Maybe I’m just getting old, or maybe it’s because most of my reviews are written in between projects at the dayjob where I, obviously, can’t be stoned. So therefore the seven minute guitar driven repetitive dirge seems just like a seven minute guitar driven repetitive dirge instead of a brain-laced thirty second fist fuck. You first start to notice this around track three, Latitude, which was long enough that I wrote half of this original review before it was over[4].

Spirtu’s Throwback is terribly good fun, with the slamming guitar riffage and chunky blasts that the genre drove us mad with back in the day. Allow me to take a moment to get you up to speed – Human Failures is a split CD that features the slamming oldsters of Spiritu and the newcomers Village of Dead Roads. Village’s first foray on the CD, Descendants of the Dendrites, kicks off with a grungy 4/4 drag, heavy handed and blistering. The group can play and play well, but I’m having problems with track length. I’m sure I’d be breaking shit without realizing how long they were had I been high.

Skin Prison is a faster paced song with interesting noodly breakdowns of guitar strumming and picking. Woman of Ill Repute comes in really dragging ass. A bit too simplistic for me…reminds me of Sabbath’s War Pigs. Picks up the pace and gets chunky and hard enough to rattle your teeth. Thereafter it goes on for a long long time.

So that’s the gist of it – it’s chunky, heavy but occasionally long winded. Human Failures is certainly worth looking into if you like the stoner rock genre, and it’s sure to send you spiraling into brain-crushing frenzies of breakage when used with the proper chemical reactions. Spiritu are heavy as they’ve always been and Village of Dead Roads are like a psychedelic mix of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.

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[1] Reviewed in Legends #128.
[2] The Last Adventures of Captain Dog was reviewed in Legends #113 and Captain Dog Rides Again can be found written about in Legends #138.
[3] 18 Speed’s Fluid was reviewed in Legends #136 and Haulin’ Ass was in Legends #145.
[4] Then the PC promptly ate it, the stupid machine. So I rewrote what I could remember from memory after rebooting and now I’m on track six.