The Human Value - Push and Pull
Album covers can be mightily misleading sometimes. Maybe Hard-Fi had the right idea with their second release, despite the execution being a big dodgy, as cover art does inform first impressions. This is especially true when the band in question are so underground Kate Moss is waiting in line to shag their guitarist and/or drummer. I admit to being a bit vapid in the case of The Human Value's new album, putting off my first listen on the account of the floating naked ladies, all Japanese horror flick hair, adorning the cover like particularly nubile sacrifices. In all truth, I was expecting a death metal record.
Thank the man in the sky that I put aside my preconceptions and played the darn thing then. Push and Pull is not a metal record but, thankfully, neither is it a light pop album. Fronted by NYC firecracker Turu, the three-piece have fashioned a ballsy and moody set of bluesy garage rock. Synths and big choruses add a pop sheen but there's a dark undercurrent travelling through the thirteen tracks, especially evident on the heavy riffs of No Sacrifice and the feedback-drenched Complications No. 2, which sounds like Interpol fronted by Siouxsie Sioux. There's no denying Turu is the trio's mainstream-baiting catch, exuding sex and feistiness as readily as her closest competitors, Karen O and Juliette Lewis. She's the star of the band but, of course, there is no star without great songs and, whether on the erupting I Don't Care or the spooky piano chug of closer Push and Pull, this album has them in abundance.
Ooh, by the by, this band are soo underground and cool that I couldn't find a pic of the aforementioned artwork to use with this review so there's another reason, besides the music, to buy the CD. I'm not lying about the floaty Grudge ladies.
The Human Value's MySpace