Human Colonies, a four-piece out of Bologna, Italy, have a sound that’s a healthy mix of shoegaze and dream-pop. Their Demo EP manages to showcase a few different influences over just four songs and fourteen minutes in what’s a promising debut. The band consists of Giuseppe Mazzoni on guitar and vocals, Roman Dagner on guitar, Davide Hare on drums and Sara Telesca on bass.
The EP’s first track, Sunshine Jesus, actually starts with a more traditional rock beat, courtesy of the rhythm section. The vocals are buried under a wall of fuzz in a typical shoegaze sound. But, with the driving beat and the short 2:21 length, it comes off as a unique, shoegaze/pop-punk hybrid track. Follow-up “Hey You” has a much slower tempo, with vocals just as distant. The song feels a little too restrained, although it opens up to a full band feeling in the last minute. The third song, “Falling Deeper,” might be the best of the four, taking on a more rigid, post-rock sound. It’s a tense song, and almost totally devoid of lyrics. The band instead really explores the space while confining themselves to a repetitive rhythm. The song hovers much closer to post-hardcore than to shoegaze. Finally, “Cross” is the most shoegaze-resembling song on the EP. It’s a very slow song that makes use of the non-stop guitars to build a relentless wall of sound. It’s a little draining, in the way shoegaze should be.
The band has a surprisingly polished sound, for a young band. They probably benefit from having an intentionally fuzzy and distorted sound, but the production sounds better than expected. Throughout the EP, they really explore their surroundings, bringing together a bunch of hyphenated sub-genres into a good listen. Because each song focuses in a bit of a different direction than the previous one, the flow between tracks is a little jaunting. Luckily each song engages quickly so it really isn’t a major issue. All in all, it’s a great demo, and one I’d recommend.
If you like this, try: Pity Sex’s “Feast of Love.” They can get a little repetitive, but it’s another shoegaze crossover album.
-By Andrew McNally