Onan was a minor biblical character in the book of ‘Genesis’. He was the second son of Judah and was slain because he had sex with his older brother’s wife and subsequently ejaculated on the ground. Now the interesting part is that he was not killed for doing the deed with his sister in law, but in the eyes of God, wasting your seed is to do injury to nature. Now this is not a history lesson, nor is it a biblical piece or a teaching in procreation; it is a review of one of the best debut releases from a band so far in 2015.
Humours are a Portland quartet led by vocalist and guitarist Jared ‘Fester’ See. Fester also recorded and produced the EP at his Haywire studios. The Onanist is a surprising release, and a very brave one for a debut EP. It ebbs and flows and is dynamic right throughout. Their sound is a little tricky to pin down, and that’s the exciting part as the more you listen to this ’20 minute – 4 track’ slab of progressive jazz tinged post punk, you uncover more elements to the arrangements.
Opening track ‘In the Court of the Corn-Eyed King’ flows with a shutter riff thats reminiscent of Glassjaw coupled with a Cog-like vocal that eventually transcends through a bass interlude and a gentle guitar build before catapulting into a doom standoff. The ‘Wavering Radiant’ atmosphere of Isis is present at the beginning of ‘Happy Birthday Alex Tucker’ which gradually fades and allows a flicker of tremolo picking to build before a jazz burst of drums and vocals.
The 8 minute ‘Bridesmaid_The Onanist’ duo track is a moody, sarcastic but intelligently structured song with the Bridesmaid section largely a strong heavy riff repetition before a commanding but melodic vocal. The final track ‘Dog Shredder’ is a fast rocking belter that is over far too quickly.
The Onanist is a lovely taste of Humours; who are already in the studio recording a full length due later in 2015. Look out for this band.
The Onanist Track Listing:
1. In The Court Of The Corn-Eyed King
2. Happy Birthday Alex Tucker
3. Bridesmaid _ The Onanist
4. Dog Shredder