No Use For Humans
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No Use For Humans

Bernardsville, New Jersey, United States

Bernardsville, New Jersey, United States
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Coming from the Mike Patton school of music, No Use for Humans combines mathematical progressive rock rhythm with bizarre samples, eclectic instrumentation, and just utter weirdness. Sure it’s pretty experimental and might not be for everyone but if you’ve ever appreciated anything to do with John Zorn, Mike Patton, or the quirkiness of a Les Claypool project than you’ll dig it. And I love the piano on “Ruination Part II”. The amazing thing though is that this album was recorded live. Wild. - J Sin


NUFH play inventive and nifty experimental instrumentalism that mixes up live jazz rock with kitchy robotic sampling and keyboard effects, sort of like a cross between the third Mr. Bungle album and the Frank Zappa’s “Civilization: Phase 3”. They have an upbeat, Casio-cheese feel about them, and some of the samples and effects give them a videogame soundtrack tint, but any self-directed humor doesn’t take away from the top-notch musicianship and their ability to mix up weird stuff and have it sound perfectly normal. Definitely for fans of Ipecac bands, especially Steroid Maximus, or that 90s Prawn Song band Eskimo. And I also like them because I’m pretty sure the quote on their cover comes from a really neat Twilight Zone episode. - Adam Liebling


Enter into a listener/writer covenant with a disc while in closed frame of mind and you’re as good as dead. Some of those little bastards will sneak up on you, slap you around for a time and then spit you out with yesteryear’s Spin magazine staff. Such is the case with No Use For Humans’ demo CD. It looked like hell, gave the appearance of being a foray into the darkened realms of black metal but turned out to be a well-recorded and produced adventure in prog. In fact, it’s a bit like what Frank Zappa’s Jazz From Hell might have sounded like with just a few more humans on it. Sure, the drums sound phony here but there’s a pleasantness to their psuedoness, a sweetness to the cacophony, an instantaneousness to the insanity. Whatever. Watch for this duo to make a pretty damn decent album one of these days. - Jedd Beaudoin


What the hell is this? Easily one of the more bizarre c.d.'s I've received in recent years; No Use For Humans' debut eight song disc goes beyond description. There are really no vocals or guitars, but the duo play instruments- Sean on keyboards and Steve on acoustic and electronic drums. Even with the lack of vocals, Mike Patton (Fantomas, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, ex-Faith No More) is clearly the best reference point. If he heard this, no doubt he would conjure some bizarre vocals to put over top the music. Elements of jazz and mathcore are present, but also a keyboard dominated Frank Zappa sound as well. No Use For Humans offer a nice antidote to mainstream music, but it's not the easiest listen in the world. They aren't writing songs that are memorable, but they're quirky enough to wonder what they are going to do next. - Brett VanPut


Yeah, yeah, I know not to judge a book by its cover. But it's understandable that when I pulled out this handmade release, I didn't have high hopes. And I do mean handmade -- the insert was clearly Xeroxed and the home-burned CDR was labeled with a Sharpie.

Once I hit play, though, none of that mattered. No Use for Humans is a highly complex, furiously intellectual sort of prog-rock made with keyboards. Although the group consists of just two people -- Sean (keyboards) and Steve (percussion) -- the songs are overflowing with ideas; it's a fascinating series of twists and turns that left me baffled and amused. Almost entirely instrumental (only "Robots! (V. Brue)" contains some distorted vocals), the music is based on quickly rotating riffs, each seldom lasting more than a few bars. This method creates an irresistible forward momentum that'll leave you gasping for breath. Perhaps the best analogy is a haunted house ride -- as you are pulled around the corner, a monster jumps out at you, but before you have time to fully absorb it, you're pulled along to the next surprise. This carnival feel is heightened by the use of calliope and other breathy keyboard sounds on "Jihaad" and others, as well as superbly nuanced percussion that mixes acoustic and electronic sources.

Given the band's moniker, it's fair to expect a dose of menace in their sound. While this is indeed true, and many of the compositions embrace minor chords and dashes of dissonance, the duo also displays a sly sense of humor. For instance, the ending seconds of opener "Demoness" tie up the song's jarring riff with an unexpected dash of the theme from I Dream of Jeannie. As with the rest of the music, these little moments of humor go by so quickly that you'll be left hunting for them in the (metaphorical) rear-view mirror while the music continues to propel you forward.

Humorous flashes aren't the only revelation here; Sean and Steve are not so single-minded as to ignore the use of melody. "Ruination Part II" opens with a beautiful piano line, which is complemented by a rolling percussion line and wordless vocal sample. This morphs into a pretty, meditative piano solo -- and then bizarre electronic percussion knocks the tune sideways into cyber-punk lounge.

This wildly entertaining disc has only one fault -- its brevity. At twenty-five minutes, there's simply not enough to go around! No Use for Humans may not have much need for us, but fans of John Zorn, Mike Patton, and other innovative musicians will feel a definite craving for them. - Ron Davies


Discography

No Use For Humans (8 song demo)
Lesson From A Dying Breed
An index of fecal-oral transmission

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Bio

Through years of researching the possibilities of sound, both acoustically and electronically, all over the wastelands of planet earth, two West Nile survivors developed their own brand of something that might be called music. Although this music is difficult to categorize, there are recognizable elements of all forms of music. Because this music is a result of experimentation with multi-instrumentation and things which produce sound, Life has been created from Nothingness. This is why the particular duo has named itself No Use For Humans. Theologians believe that the two humans derived the name from their hatred of the human race. Some believe that the so-called duo came up with the name because they couldn't work in bands with other people or vice-versa. Others just think they have a sick sense of humor or maybe they're just plain sick. Either way, live shows have been described as "seeing two guys on stage but hearing twenty". In the music's most simplistic state, No Use For Humans is a movie for your ears, a very bizarre movie. Progressive math rock rhythms, haunting melodies, multi-ethnic, multi-genre beauty, unbearable sorrow, and sonic annihilation. Something for artsy-fartsies, metal heads, hippies, punkers, jazz snobs, and teeny boppers....well, maybe not...but your Mom would like them. You will love them.