Looking at the background to Human Pyramids and debut album Planet Shhh!, numerous tags from post rock to post punk, folk to electronic are placed before the project but quite simply the only description you could use is narrative rock. Every track on the instrumental album is a vibrant and potently descriptive tale of life, its beauty and colour declared in aural poetry which leaves thoughts and emotions elevated, body and passions exhausted. The twelve track feast of invention and torrential imagination is simply magnificent, a superbly crafted journey through vibrant sceneries and invigorating embraces of the world.
Human Pyramids is the invention of from multi-instrumentalist Paul Russell, a musician and composer raised in an old mining village in Scotland and now based in London. Featuring a group of handpicked musicians from across the UK to help Russell realise his scintillating adventures, Planet Shhh! took three years to create, time that with its release via Oxide Tones will be surely reaping rewards and ardour for years to come. Easily one of the most startling and thrilling debuts this year, and maybe decade, the album is a uniquely sounding and varied dance through thoughts, emotions, and experiences, a waltz/tango of intrigue and fire bred warmth that captivates every essence of the psyche and body from its first entrancing second right through to its very last departing and waving note.
Tall Tales starts off the passionate romp, the track a fanfare for the album and emotions. Awakening the senses with almost celestial heat spots of melodic temptation and harmonious caresses aided by rhythmic teasing, the track instantly draws out a strong appetite which turns to hunger as the track expands its arms into a stroll through melodic trails across rhythmic mountains, taking in the sights with reflective mellower moments.
It is a hypnotic start soon matched by the equally enthralling The Bubble. A guitar welcome makes a pleasing beckoning though it is also deceitful, hiding the impending rhythmic hypnotism lying in wait to enslave further the previously energised satisfaction. With a clockwork polka gently leaping over the senses egged on by measured handclaps and prodding string taunts, the track wraps a virulent lure around the ear before leading it into a swarm of kissing melodies and feisty energy. It is basically the most enjoyable and welcome trap possible, its metronomic siren call the gateway to a glorious blaze of musical radiance.
A gentle canter through the varied hues of life and energies frequents next up Cafe Hawelka, the piece a tantalising look on the passing vitality of life within a hive of exuberant activity, whilst Alphabet City explores the shadows and bright lights of an urban hive, every corner and breath within the landscape explored and brought to thought through a magnetic capture of rhythmic and electronic passion alongside brass and acoustic elegance.
As the zealous evolving festivities of Relapse courts the fermenting rapture inside the emotions with poise and dazzling enterprise and Skimming Stones unleashes a sunrise of melodic stimulation and big hearted rhythms encased in guitar cast seduction, Human Pyramids could just go home after and rest on their laurels such the impact and glory of the album to this point they would draw nothing less than full acclaim. But no chance of that as Singing Sands shows as it leads in the second half of the release to match the already unveiled riveting bewitchment. The track is littered with a crystalline tempting from the glockenspiel encased in a perpetually increasing energy of summer persistence, its heat and demanding textures a cascade of delicious rhythms and an ebbing and following melodic tide. It is a breath-taking piece of beauty which soothes and rampages within evocative thoughts and enlivened emotions.
Both the emotive tender soporific Duvet Day and the similarly, even with its bulging sinews and expansive inventive jaws, somnolent Tinfoil Stars treat the ear to a luxurious relaxation before the brass driven topography of Port Charlotte brings forth a slumberous picturesque portrait to explore. These smouldering joys are subsequently left in the shade by A Town Called Malaise, a powerful rock based journey which opens with a dramatically commanding tempest of guitar and drums kicking up a storm of intensity roamed by the shadow drenched bass. From behind the pungent encounter entwining streams of melodic whispers and sonic flames bring the hope and underlying beauty of the premise before contesting the air with the returning heavy oppressive voice of the scenario. It is an explosive and fascinating, not forgetting stunning, blend of imagination and striking songwriting that alone encapsulates all the impressive elements and strengths of the band.
Bus Stop Polka completes the release, the track a busy and vibrant place with drums and guitars leaving no room for breath as the rush for the ride dominates the intent. Once aboard the trip is a dazzling venture of melodic lights and cracking rhythmic enticement which again leaves the listener engulfed in a riot of lung sucking incitation.
Planet Shhh! is simply an aural temptress, a classically shaped and passionately honed fire of brilliance. That is all you need to know about it and Human Pyramids to embrace their glory.
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