Album, Single and EP Reviews



  The Halloween Tree by Human Host

The Halloween Tree cover art

Artist: Human Host
Title: The Halloween Tree
Catalogue Number: Fall Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007

Don't really know how it happens but a lot of truly eclectic - for want of a better word - music finds its way to Bluesbunny Towers. However, the term eclectic does seem particularly appropriate to Human Host and their album "The Halloween Tree".

Maybe these guys don't get out a lot and spend their time watching old - that would be good - John Carpenter movies. That drum machine and analogue synthesiser sound on many of the tracks is so very reminiscent of the soundtrack of movies like Escape from New York. Lyrically, the songs show real signs of madness. Not in a poetic way either. They leave you wondering what the hell is happening. As an example from the opening track of the album, "Earthquakes and Fire", try and make sense of lines like "my tongue is tied with the strain of forgotten rinds". Providing a lyric sheet doesn't really help as these words are verging on the deranged and, indeed, "Underground Rainbow" rambles about like a thesaurus on a trip. A bad trip.  Don't get me wrong, this isn't bad. In fact, this album has a compelling fascination as the simplicity of the backing leaves those weird words wandering about the room trying to confuse you.

By comparison, the instrumental tracks like "Out of State" or Nocturnal Quadruped" drop sharply into focus. Of course, those words return again on the proto Germanic disco of "Bathtub Blast" before the surreal storm cloud of "The Realm" crashes the album back into the brick wall of reality.

This is one band that must be on better drugs than the rest of us. It is a hard one to rate as well as it strays well away from (or maybe got lost on the way to) the mainstream. For that matter, it might well be art. Lovers of lo-fi quirkiness will find much to enjoy here.

Available by mail order from Fall Records.
Review Date: June 8 2008