Album review: Human Don’t Be Angry

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Malcolm Middleton promised a complete shift away from the miserable mambo of his previous two solo works, and is as good as his word.

A deliberately dated sample of sonic science fiction, his new album opens like a piece of commercial library music from the 1980s, shiny guitar motifs characterising pieces with titles like The Missing Plutonium and H.D.B.A Theme.

Central to the piece is 1985, a terse bit of electronica encapsulating the era, rooted in the pioneering days of computer gaming and the mesmeric theme music repetition. It gently enthrals, the guitars never breaking free of willing restraint.

Malc’s fondness for simple lyrical repetition makes First Person Singular, Present Tense strangely compelling, with its wonky synth refrain.

“I open my eyes and I’m home” is the album’s Wizard Of Oz moment.

The instrumentation is what dominates here, but there are still a couple of songs which truly satisfy, namely Asklipiio and Monologue: River.

The latter boasts some chuckle-out-loud couplets, and few others would dream of rhyming gorilla with mirror, but it works surprisingly well.

Human Don’t Be Angry is a (mis)translated version of the board game Frustration, but this is a stress-free piece of music of no little charm.

Human Don’t Be Angry

Human Don’t Be Angry

Chemikal Underground, £11.99

Rating: ****

Download this: Monologue: River, Asklipiio