The very first thing I liked about the “TOO HUMAN” EP was the statement that accompanied it on the audio stream – “Robots may be the future, but robotic music is not. Good, honest, rock and roll will never die. We believe in guitar-driven music and well-structured songs. This is our debut EP… for humans by humans, enjoy!”
The least comprehensible thing for me, about this thoroughly enjoyable project, was the name of the band, which is simply “THE”. THE is a media and marketing man’s worst nightmare. Grammatically anywhere you put this name will screw up the syntax – or rather the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences in a given language.
So I started thinking if these guys can so daringly and blatantly screw with the rules, principles, and processes that govern a language, just what the heck would THE be capable of doing, applying that theory to music?
This rock and roll band from Lancaster PA that formed in 2015 by Brendan Quinn (guitar/vocals), Dustin Cain (bass), James Benson (guitar), and Adam Mitchell (drums), certainly go against the grain of modern music. They excel at writing engaging lyrics, creating passionate musical riffs, and forming choruses that are sometimes so good they’re magical.
So where’s the difference? They’re doing it without the help of laptops! On first listen there were only one or two tunes immediate caught me. I excitedly listened to the EP again. And a third time. And it is awesome. Why? Because usually if every song on an album catches me the first time around, it’s throwaway junk that won’t last one single summer.
It will contain shallow likeable goodies to quickly thrill you, and then eventually bore you to death. Not so, the “TOO HUMAN” EP, it’s gritty, raw and just less than perfect enough, to totally adore it for what it is… the real thing!
However there is some great, inspired work here among the 5 tracks; stuff that will draw you into its energetic, wistful, stylized vibe as skillfully as anything out there. I mean how could you possibly not be captured by the rugged and intense rhythm of “Get In Line” – the bass playing alone is worth the listen.
“Sitting Pretty” is another rip roaring track featuring some great guitar riffs and lead vocals. As is “One Island To Another”, which also showcases a fine guitar solo. But as mentioned before, then comes the time to hit the replay button, as you still need to unravel the auditory secrets of “Concrete Hill” and “Observable Universe”.
Musically this album rocks; the guitar, the bass, the drums, everything is played superbly and with heart by THE. Each listener will probably come away with their own narrative but that’s the difference between rock n’ roll and computer generated music. There are no generic sound loops, no shared samples, or one-for-all presets. No common ground. Is this a blessing or a curse? No, it’s just “TOO HUMAN”!!!