From the foulest, slimiest depths of Brooklyn, Dawn of Humans arrive after a demo and three EPs with their debut full(ish)-length LP. Slurping at the Cosmos Spine sees one of New York’s most exciting live bands offer up over 20 minutes of their intense, chaotic brand of outsider mutant hardcore in one go, and if you’ve got the constitution for it, the album delivers in spades.
Vocalist Emil possesses all the schizophrenic mutability of the great Nick Blinko. He sounds wildly different from track to track, but always unhinged and genuinely freaky. The UK anarcho-punk influence extends into some of the drumming and guitar work, but ’80s US hardcore is obviously a major songwriting influence as well. The band plays in tight lockstep when they want to, but fast-and-loose, with utter abandon seems to be more their style.
I’m hesitant to use the word “progressive” in relation to a band like Dawn of Humans, as that word has been tainted by legions of pompous, showy 1970s toolbags and their fans, and I think philosophically the group probably has more of a “regressive” approach if anything, but the music here is refreshingly unconcerned with the conventions of the hardcore punk genre, willing to push into stranger, dingier territory than many of their peers. The slower, more discordant numbers make the circle pit ragers that much more raging, and the straight-up hardcore songs make the bizarre flights of fucked-up fancy sound that much more fucked. The results are an album that shows range without sounding disjointed. Definitely a must-hear.
Slurping At The Cosmos Spine is available from Toxic State in the USA and La Vida Es Un Mus in Europe.