No Use For Humans
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No Use For Humans

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


I was thinking late Eighties speed metal when I first saw the amateurishly drawn cover, but a look inside revealed that there was only guitar on one track, as NUFH are a New Jersey three-piece more at home with keyboards, bass and drums.

Band founder and rhythmical backbone Steve Honoshowsky is an incredible drummer but also plays the bass guitars and a couple of keyboards, while additional keyboards are delivered by Sean Wegeler and Alicia Testa, the latter being also in charge of incredible sexy vocals.

So much for the easy part. I have listed now already countless times to this strange piece of music, and it is still impossible to describe. NUFH have the craziness of a Frank Zappa or a Mike Patton, but without the intellectual burden. Instead you get a full dose of sick humour, encased in solid workmanship from all people involved. The opener The Mission is a nervous dance tune with moaned vocals, whereas the following Jihad comes with an oriental feeling and some of the most sensual vocals I have heard in a long time. If those first two tracks still have an appearance of normality, the short Humanoid shows the band from its weird instrumental side. Where many modern synth bands rely on computers, NUFH keep their rhythms played manually, making for a fantastic organic sound. It's especially the crazy drum patterns that put NUFH on such a high level.

NUFH also have a more melodic, accessible side. Awake and especially the radio-compatible Nothing sound like a livelier Björk, while 007 vs Vampiros Lesbos and Heretic liberally quote from movie history. Guest vocalist Adeo adds hip hop vocals on Ms Pac-Man Meets Twiki. And the craziest moments come with instrumentals again. Ass Goblin and Whore Of Babylon are quasi-prog gems that are so angular but never aloof, instead keeping all the time a sense of humour not unlike the Asian BDSM proggers Ars Nova.

NUFH demands a lot of attention. This is at no time an easy album, but it's this confrontational clashing of genres that makes it one of the most refreshing and daring albums of the year.
- Pascal Thiel


New Jersey’s No Use For Humans may be the only band around which describes their sound as being “Experimental electronic math rock”. What that exactly means I’m not sure but it was an intriguing quote nonetheless and enough to make me want to check out their self titled, self produced debut CD. In fact trying to describe their music is not as easy as I thought, it’s primarily a large dose of weird, quirky, electronics with dashes of acoustic instrumentation. Drummer Steve Honoshowsky effectively mixes both regular drums with electronic percussion throughout and in addition to drums; he also handles various keyboards and samplers and is joined in the band by Sean Wegeler (keyboards, samplers) and Alicia Testa (vocals and keys). Honoshowsky’s playing is extremely funky throughout the disc and his great rhythmic backbeats lay down the foundations for all sorts of various types of electronic weirdness to be layered overtop, giving one the feeling at times of listening to some long lost, obscure B-movie, Sci-Fi soundtrack. The great thing about this disc is that it’s basically all over the map musically, one look at the song titles and links page on the bands website confirm that their influences do not lie within the mainstream of popular music. You not only get fine musicianship but also be prepared for a healthy does of the bands crazy humor as well. A lot of today’s music tends to forget about the humor element and ends up taking itself too seriously, but not these guys, after all, wasn't it the immortal Frank Zappa who once asked if humor belonged in music? I think if you asked No Use For Humans, you’d get a resounding yes to that. They're also available for Weddings and Bar-Mitzvahs, I kid you not.
- Ryan Sparks


Theoretically, there's another band like the Flaming Lips out there somewhere, who will toil in local weirdness, and gradually -- over 20 years -- work their way from completely outsider obscurity into the national consciousness. Assuming they exist, what do they sound like now? Almost certainly, they don't resemble anything like what's currently commercially popular. And almost more certainly, they probably don't sound like anything like what's presently hip.

There's a great chance, of course, that No Use For Humans' future won't resemble the Lips' present in the least -- but that doesn't mean (musically, anyway) that they don't mirror the early stages of life of Oklahoma City's favorite freaks. Which isn't to say that No Use For Humans sound at all like the Flaming Lips -- because that would be tasteful and would disqualify them -- but there's clearly something there that's absent from a lot of other bands of their young age.

On the group's recent self-titled album (they have a few previous demos and full-length CD-Rs circulating, too), they prove themselves steeped in the maximalist tradition -- though not in a theatrical wanky way, and not in a jamband way, either. The music is almost all synthesized. If there's anything acoustic present, it just sounds like a really good imitation. Right away, this encases the music in its own world that can suck a listener right in.

"Jihad" burbles on a surprising beat, ambient guitar shredding on a distant station while faux-marimbas clang beneath vocalist Alicia Testa. A new addition since last time out, her performances are assured, though tend to ground the music in a sort of trip-hop mode.("Spirit," "The Mission"). In places, though -- midway through the industrially stomping "Nothing," for example -- she adds just the right amount of color. The vocals also push the band in a more thoroughly prog-rock direction.

So, whatever will happen to No Use For Humans will happen, and everything that's happening now is happening now, which isn't too bad at all, and there are many probable uses for No Use For Humans. Perhaps you will find one.
- Jesse Jarnow


Cinematic weirdness. Dislocated melodies. Sporadic injection of samples. Bizarre jumps in rhythm. Circuitous electronic dissonance. No Use for Humans combines these elements to form a dark and proggy sonic trip, where even cheerful major-scale melodies give a sense of foreboding, like examining broken children's toys in an attic late at night. They're experimental without producing a wall of noise, and would most likely appeal to fans of Boards of Canada and other electronica. - Richmond.com


One could spend hours waffling around endlessly and aimlessly trying to figure how to put a label on this New Jersey act. NO USE FOR HUMANS comes across at first like video game music, then the prog sets in and you are in for quite a bumpy ride. The drums bring to mind PRIMUS, RUINS, TERRY BOZZIO, and THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS' Weasel Walter. The band as a whole is slightly reminiscent of the Bozzio-era ZAPPA album “Sleep Dirt” that also has a female lead singer and lyrics about the earth’s imminent destruction. But while "Sleep Dirt" had more jazz in it, this is much more electronic and...well sci-fi. Had Bozzio been present for Zappa’s “Jazz From Hell” album, it may have ended up sounding like this.

Synths and samplers are all over this and drum machines are present, often alongside the real drums. The sound of Moog, Roland, Korg and even Casio synths are at the epicenter of this other-worldly disc. There is bass guitar on about a third of the 15 tracks here and guitar only makes it onto one song. The singer sounds a little like Bjork with a bit more sensuality if that’s possible. It is hard to pigeonhole this act for sure, yet their sound is very consistent almost to the point where every song starts to sound the same to the less discerning ear. Those of us who have had to endure naysayers rag on our death metal for this very reason know better. Same with the progheads and techno fans among us. There is really no mistaking NUFH for any other band. That, in my book, is almost always a good thing.

- Doug


Discography

"No Use For Humans" - August 2005
First recording with Alicia
1. The Mission
2. Jihaad*
3. Humanoid
4. Awake
5. Ass Goblin
6. Whore Of Babylon - listen
7. Seppuku
8. 007 vs. Vampiros Lesbos^
9. Ms. Pacman Meets Twiki**
10. Nothing
11. Heretic
12. Ruination Pt. 3
13. Spirits
14. Mind Bender
15. Smiling Corpse
*Metal Mike Biskup on guitar
**Adeo from Raination as Emcee
^Erin Leber on vocals

"No Use For Humans" - original 8-song demo
1. Demoness
2. Two Headed Girlfriend
3. Robots!
4. Perspective
5. Ruination Part II
6. Geisha Girl
7. Jihaad
8. Smiling Corpse

"Lesson From A Dying Breed"
1. Parasite
2. Seppuku
3. The Horror
4. Soul Amputation
5. Corridor
6. The Great Annihilator
7. Psychoplasmics
8. The Opposable Thumb
9. Obituaries > Candyman > Ruination Part II
10. 99 Luftballoons > Imperial March
11. Two Headed Girlfriend
12. The Mission
13. Medley
14. Demoness
*tracks 9-14 recorded live at the Brighton Bar

No Use For Humans DVD
Contains videos of "Demoness" and "Perspective", and a gig from the Brighton Bar, April 15, 2004:
Demoness
Perspective
The Horror >
Corridor
She Blinded Me With Science
Soul Amputation
Two Headed Girlfriend
More, More, More

"Another Solo Project" - Steve only
1. Ruination Part 1
2. April 30th
3. Flesh Eater
4. I Want Your Sex*
*Ben Earl on sax

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Through years of researching the possibilities of sound, both acoustically and electronically, all over the wastelands of planet earth, 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 trio has named itself No Use For Humans. Theologians believe that they derived the name from their hatred of the human race. Some also believe that they 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 three people 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.