Human Host: The Halloween Tree
Human Host The Halloween Tree (Fall) A brash, psychedelic circle jerk, Human Host is going straight for your caveman brain with this, its third album in five years. That or the little pocket of LSD-the one you thought metabolized in a bad way on an elevator a few years ago-lodged in the base of your spine, perhaps. It's a mess, of course-the Mike Apichella-led band is a front for 11 members/collaborators at last count-whose only unifying factor through crusty swatches of punk, arty indie rock (both Handsome Furs and Old Time Relijun are recalled here), rap, electrofied psych, and all-around nonsense (in a good "decisive aquatic jungle symphonies" kind of way) is that it all sounds like it was recorded in the back of a van.
And, mind you, recording in the back of a van is better than recording in the trunk of a car-that was the Hospitals, who owned no-fi for two albums-and it's easy enough to get past by the time the fantastic and appropriately out-of-place tribal meltdown "Out of State" hits in a wash of groaning electronics, discordant guitar stabs, and summoning-the-dark-lord drum rounds. Besides, could you really handle the above quoted lyric-which concludes "vibrate multicolored fingernails"-with anything resembling a spit shine? Or Apichella aping Glenn Danzig on an electro march called "Thunder Moth" complete with a rap and chipmunk voices? And, no, that's not irritating as all hell here-somehow-nor is it without an earnestness that builds on every listen.