Signed to our friends at Beth Shalom Records, Human Head released the ‘Sorry, I Wasn’t Listening’ EP back in December and it’s been on our list to write about ever since. A combination of poet Joshua Jones’ spoken-word social commentary and Thom Weeks’ (Gnarwolves, Shit Present) industrial, DIY instrumentation, the five tracks cover themes including identity, mental health and doomed relationships.
The post rock guitars of ‘Real Time’ signal the start of the EP with Joshua delivering powerful lyrics about ’emptiness’ and ‘isolation’ as the song builds up the tempo with beats and riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place on a La Dispute record. ‘No One Lives Here Yet’ with more poignant words about waking up ‘warmed by the light slipping through the blinds’. Joshua then talks about the effect these bouts of depression have on his well-being as he attempts to find something to cling to (‘It’s payday tomorrow, I’ll be able to afford to drink’) and reveals how changeable everything can be: ‘Sometimes I want to go back to an empty home, sometimes I don’t want to go home at all. Sometimes I enjoy the loneliness, sometimes I just want to kill it’.
The way commuting and being in crowds can trigger bouts of social anxiety is captured in ‘Intruders’, a Death in Vegas-esque piece that veers into dark places: ‘I stare at my getaway, just a fleeting thought, gone by the time the train docks at the station’; ‘There are intruders inside my head’; ‘The intruders will be waiting for me on the platform. I won’t listen’. There are more glitchy DIY disco beats and synthy stabs (not forgetting a nod to ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’) on ‘Look Shocked, which finds Joshua talking about his clumsiness and asking what he can do to fit into social ‘norms’: ‘I want to get it right first time’. The closing ‘Room to Haunt’ sounds something akin to Casiotone for the Painfully Alone jamming with The Good, The Bad and The Queen as Joshua talks about family issues (‘Why do you attack him like that? You should cut your brother some slack. Dad might always be at your throat but this one’s on you’) and then reveals his inner-thoughts: ‘I’ve felt like a ghost for a long time, I can’t find a room to haunt without upsetting someone. Bumping into walls in the dark’. The track ends with piano and harmonies before the words ‘dark, dark, dark’ are repeated.
You won’t be sorry you’ve listened to this deeply emotional and personal EP.