We're always on the lookout for artists to follow, artists to champion, and artists to critique - however fit. Sometimes artists come to us, and we find these to be on two levels of a pyramid: the foundation artist, just starting out searching for feedback / coverage (such as this review of Human Colonies,) and the established artist, looking to spread their wings and take their music to a wider audience through the words and legitimate opinions of those here at MRD. We cherish our Discovery's, taking every request, every email very seriously as if it was a 14 year old Bob Dylan, or even a nine year old Justin Bieber. The possibilities of the music industry are endless, and it's our job to open the doors - close some doors, and push whoever it may be out of the starting gate.
Human Colonies came to us with a request, and after listening through their debut demo EP - simply titled Demo EP, it was worth giving them a write-up. These four gazers are Italian born, and focus on the heavier guitar drones of 80s / 90s alternative past. You can definitely hear the Sonic Youth influence gushing out of the rhythm guitar, with a Slowdive / Galaxie 500 ethereal feel on vocalists Giuseppe Mazzoni reverberated expressions.
Does it help that I was listening to Slowdive before discovering Human Colonies email? Yes, Yes, Yes, of course it does. There's something so untranslatable about the email hive mind - planning a day of dream pop shoegaze can only go well when an Italian unknown four-piece steps up with a sound influenced by the likes of: "My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Slowdive." It's rare, but it does happen from time to time. Human Colonies are late to a genre that was never popular even in its hay day. It was taken over by a broader popular alternative rock in the States, and a certain post-mod type of popular alternative rock in the UK with the genre 'britpop'. Though artists like The Verve were born out of shoegaze / dream pop, and many modern artists are taking influence from these catastrophically emotional artists from the age of acclaim. Most tend to blend it with krautrock, psychedelic rock, or even pop - but a straight up shoegaze / dream pop hybrid can still be accessible, interesting, and innovative in 2013.
"Hey You" isn't the spotless, clean track Human Colonies intend it to be, but without all the skin and make-up, "Hey You" rocks. Forget the clear cut studio recordings - this is the intended sound of Human Colonies, and it's the sound that they will utilise as they progress their way in to the future. It's styled on the soothing shoegaze associated with Ride and Slowdive, rather than the heavier and abnormally distorted artists. The drums have been produced well, something strange for a demo recording. The soaring layers of guitar also stand out as the lo-fi aspect of Human Colonies wares off completely, and the full picture is printed right in front of your eyes. It's not a portrait of a happy face, it's something blue. "Hey You" is just like discovering that old Ride album (Nowhere) in a 2010 /mu/ share thread - it's image telling a story with colours, and it's music filling in the gaps for which the audience can share emotions with.