Institutions crumble under the weight of political hubris. The environment withers in the face of systemic neglect. Interpersonal relationships fall apart among divisive discourse.
However, friendship endures in spite of all that tragedy and trauma…
The story of Human Impact really begins with the mutual respect and admiration shared by four noise rock pioneers whose paths circled for nearly three decades, yet finally converged in 2018. The quartet—vocalist and guitarist Chris Spencer [Unsane], bassist Chris Pravdica [Swans, Xiu Xiu], keyboardist Jim Coleman [Cop Shoot Cop], and drummer Phil Puleo [Cop Shoot Cop, Swans]—manifest the potential of this union on their 2020 self-titled debut, Human Impact [Ipecac Records].
Underpinned by guitar grind, industrial buzz, and unnervingly catchy vocal transmissions, these ten tracks ebb flow between intense instrumental insurgency and hypnotic harmonies.
“It works, because of the friendship and connection,” exclaims Coleman. “The band is surprisingly free of ego. We’re all old enough that we’ve been beaten up by making music and living life in general. We’ve been through it all. So, our approach is humble. There’s room for input from everybody. It’s an organic process. At the same time, we ended up with a record that’s uncompromising and very much of the time in terms of how it sounds and addresses the world socially, politically, and emotionally.”
“Even though a lot of the subject matter could be perceived as negative, the energy is hopeful in a way,” adds Spencer. “Everything might be collapsing, but we put positivity out there.”
The seeds would be planted for Human Impact in the Lower East Side where Coleman recalls “getting in trouble together with Chris during the late eighties.” A few years later, Unsane and Cop Shoot Cop shared a rehearsal space on Avenue B. Around the same time, Coleman and Spencer commenced conversations about eventually making music together.
However, those conversations didn’t formally pick up until much later when Coleman attended an Unsane gig in the summer of 2018…
“Jim came up to me and was like, ‘Do you still have any interest in working together?’,” recalls Spencer. “I had been doing Unsane for 30 years, and I was ready to do something else in general. Jim just happened to approach me at the right time. We started writing together shortly after.”