IOM Magazine - Humanifesto Review Aug 24/07

Oh deary deary me.. prepared to be astonished! Keep 6 have gone and done something truly wonderful in writing, performing, and producing an album called 'Humanifesto' - it's a big deal folks.. fascinatingly tight and melodic vocals aligned with some of the best guitar, bass, and drum work I have heard in ages spewing forth from the most innovative corners of the alternative contemporary rock sector and it's all presented very cleverly indeed! Now please.. do read on...

 

The Oceaneer is our intro to Keep 6 with bass work that I thought had become a fixture in our memories of playing that was lost along long time ago. You'll die when you hear the drums and guitars cutting in like vipers against a backdrop of prog/hard/heavy/alt rock and at the point where you're expecting 'blood on satans claw music' you're knocked sideways by the acutely brilliant and dynamic vocals! It's a brilliant piece of work to say the least!

063, on the other hand reminds me of the meticulousness of Steve Howe's fingerwork with a thin slice of Rush thrown in and then everything gets dissolved by what's really Keep 6 - smart and I do mean smart lyrics, smart vocals, and equally smart playing!

Then.. we get One high mile with it's insistence that we LOVE the track to death within the first few bars of malevolence and enthrallment! Watch out for the rather splendidly devised vocal arrangements while the fretboards surround the lyrics.. but keep an eye on the drums ladies and gentlemen... the drums are a little beyond what one would expect from a human being with only two arms and two legs! It's quite a standard to aspire to!

 

Without being human takes another path entirely and is lyrically superior to an awful lot of stuff knocking around today but probably earning a damn site less bucks (cos our industry is still asleep at the wheel!). Again, the vocals have that upper nth degree of quality in range and delivery and the ridiculously tight elements of Keep 6 guitar, bass, and drums, we've heard so far prevails just long enough to keep you glued to every note!

 

Reach out/Breathe out meanwhile, is a song that opens with little echos of early Durutti Column complete with octave splitting ear candy before the vocals come crashing through the curtains to meander just between the speakers. Try this one through decent headphones or better still stick the entire album on your iPod while your traveling and I'm telling you.. the streets will appear clean again with every road resurfaced and every building cleansed of negativity!

 

Bedlam grinds down and clutches at things you never knew existed in you as the driving rhythms plough into every incomplete picture you ever had of high quality intelligent rock. There's some ridiculously great singing here but it has to be great to keep in line with the Master Volume crew!

Stand Watching, on the other hand, is something I'd love to see live.. it's the street team track of the year complete with the kind of guitar that should have accompanied the Viking invasions! I'm at the stage now where I'm really enjoying this.. and I know I should be sticking me fingers against frets instead of a PC keyboard but someone needs to get this done as a matter of duty!

 

Inside an image is the song that has you looking for influences and inspirations but it's better you don't even try.. this is Keep 6 doing what they do and there's no point in comparisons cos as the Borg once made very clear 'resistance is futile!' Whatever way you look at it.. this is one hell of a classic and it's only just been released! Oh... I should warn you about the ending.. it's a bit like being in the fast lane at 250kph the car just stops but your still strapped in and you won't actually stop until hmmm.. a few hundred miles ahead?

Make haste arrives to get you back to your feet.. watch out for the way the vocals carry the lyrics and go spiralling toward the verses with the help and comfort of some nice chord and riff work blanketed by the trademark drums and bass meanderings! Shit... if they thought I was a good bass player when I was 20 ... this would kill them! I need a defibrillator!

 

Bring it all home unfortunately, is the last track on this savagely brilliant album but it's an anthemic thing going on that you will not forget quickly. I'm still trying to work this out.. the producer deserves much acclaim and God knows the studio must have been minus a whole load of critical air molecules with the sense of accomplishment during the mixdown. This album has been a really nice surprise to someone who once thought the best of Canadian rock was pitifully left in the shadows. The more I listen... the more I'm waking up to the unjustness of the brilliance!

Colin Lynch - August 24 2007
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