It’s been a long five years since Yorkshire political punks The Human Project released their debut album Origins during which weve had the Brexit vote, the rise of the alt-right as well as the election of Trump to the most powerful seat in the world. Understandably pissed off, their long awaited follow-up Clarion Call, released on the 6th July, sees them focus their ire on these and many other topics, delivering a furious and passionate rallying call.
It’s an album that demands your attention from the off, revealing more lyrical subtleties on each listen but as honourable as the lyrics are its nothing if the music doesnt match up. The band, though, have delivered big time on both fronts.
The album opens with the slow build of Desperate Times, a melancholic, apathetic start which brutally reflects the state of trust in the current government. Before you worry you’re listening to the wrong album it explodes into a pulsating rush of punk fury echoing the sound of revolt, firmly drawing a line in the sand between the band and their targets. It leads straight in to the next track, Desperate Measures, which carries over the energy with punchy guitar riffs and passionate vocals.
Early album highlight, and single, That One Percent follows and is a riff-fuelled beast that takes bites out of the Tory government and their austerity measures. It’s not just the intelligent lyrics though as this track is built on heavy bounce, raging vocals, harmonies and a memorable chorus that will gnaw its way into your head.
The heavy riffs and metronomic drums continue on The Rhetoric, a melodic banger that points fingers at the government, with anger wrapped up in sweet melodies that make it easy to swallow. This is followed by the urgency of Knocked For Six, which quickly became a favourite of mine with its crunching breakdowns, infectious energy and unbreakable attitude.
The album halfway point is marked with a bit of a left-field interlude, the slow and sombre Carrion which by virtue of being so different to every other track here stands out and makes a nice change of pace before they get back to doing what they always do with What We Always Do (no pun intended), another riff-tastic anthem featuring some impressive hardcore screaming and multiple breakdowns.
Another favourite of mine is Pride Before A Fall, which during the early part of the song has hints of Neck Deep and also one of the best lines on the album in “wipe the shit from your grin”, whilst glorious harmonies combine to form a shout along unifying chorus.
Penultimate track A Debt To Society lacks the impact of earlier songs despite the metallic guitar riffs. It just feels like it goes up too many blind alleys and never truly gets going, unlike final track Clarion Call which is heavy on melodies, and some sharp riffs during a frantic first half of the song before a gentle mid-section bridge before rising up with the call and response vocals of are we still dangerous get you singing along again.
It’s impossible to get away from how political this album is but whether you agree with it or not there’s no disputing the quality of the music. If this is the kind of music that the political climate is inspiring its almost tempting to vote for them to stay in place. Almost. None the less, whatever your political inclination this is an intelligent album that will make you think as well as dance and sing your heart out.