Tuesday, January 8, 2013

TALISMAN: "Humanimal"

Rating: Re-issue
Label: Sun Hill 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"Guided by instincts U just can't control - U R A Human Animal". Finally a proper drummer (Jamie Borger - Treat) plus the slightly weird mish-mash of funk, progressive ideas, and grooves they didn't even knew they possessed. Indeed, several tracks including "D.O.A.P.S." (Diary Of A Pop Star) are more about late seventies funk (Kool and The Gang?) while others speak of Terence Trent D'Arby (All + All) and Red Hot Chili Pepper (Colour My XTC). Clearly not the traditional hard rock album since you'll get the full spectrum from poppy funk to metal punk? Well, perhaps not quite as much of the latter.

Their most experimental effort and also Marcel Jacob and Jeff Scott Soto's favorite Talisman album. Originally intended as the double album with a total of 21 tracks that came from these sessions but it was decided against in the end. However, their Japanese label (Zero) chose a different set of songs from/to the European release, and Zero decided later to release the remaining tracks as "Part 2". The Euro label obviously released "their" version of "Part 2" and there were no less than four (4) different versions of Humanimal in the year of 1994!? Blimey, this however, the spanking new Sun Hill Production re-release with 17 tracks (see complete tracklisting further down).

Tracks such as "Hypocrite" and "Tv Reality" are kind of mudane, even though if the latter comes with extermely great and groovy bass-lines by Jacob, but "Blissful Garden" brings the listener's attention right back on track with its chorus and strong vocals by JSS. Nontheless, there's simply too many similar grooves on this record in my humble opinion and it gets a bit weary in the end. Excellent performances by Jacob, Borger, Åkesson, but I know (since we are all more or less musicians) that it's more fun to play them yourself than listen to these kind of grooves in the long run. And if you're going to do this, please throw in a catchy chorus 'ala, "Lonely World", to please the listener as well as your band. Ehem, on the other hand, "My Best Friends Girl", almost too sugar-sweet with its refrain 'ala The Osmonds??

It's still a decent little effort though just not as great as the first two albums. R.I.P. Marcel. Tracklist: 1. Humanimal. 2. Fabricated War. 3. D.O.A.P.S. 4. All + All. 5. Seasons. 6. Animal Ritual. 7. Hypocrite. 8. Colour My XTC. 9. Since You've Gone. 10. TV Reality. 11. Blissful Garden. 12. Lonely World. 13. Tainted Pages. 14. You Cannot Escape... 15. My Best Friends Girl. 16. Dear God. 17. Delusions Of Grandeur. Digipack - deluxe edition.

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