In what seems to be the Age of Unoriginal Thought, it’s frightening to think it all may have been done before. This summer’s supposed blockbusters are nothing but remakes of campy films and television shows from the seventies and eighties. And the pop music landscape is nothing but a neon eighties painting of Casio-drenched new-wave or Gang of Four-style post-punk. Five years into this decade and it seems to be stuck in a rut. We need help from the future. We need help from science fiction to remember what the twenty-first century should be like. We need help from Human Eye.
If the name Clone Defects rings a bell, stop reading right now and go spend your lunch money on Human Eye. For those unfamiliar with Detroit’s Clone Defects, imagine what the Dead Boys would sound like if Phillip K. Dick were at the helm. An explosive live show of screeching guitars and garage-rock laced in feedback, the Clone Defects were amazing. Their music was much rawer than the famed Strokes’ or the Vines’. It harkened back to the punk-rock seventies of CBGBs, and did so with its own style. But like all things golden, the Clone Defects disbanded after two albums and a few years. Timmy “Vulgar” Lampinen, the band’s brainchild and lead singer, didn’t spend much time before forming Human Eye.
Human Eye’s debut is what a collision between seventies punk rock and a lower-quality science-fiction flick would sound like. You won’t find any catchy guitar grooves that will give you something to tap your foot to. But you will find an explosion of feedback, loud screeches and Vulgar’s belligerent vocals dictating the way the new world will work. “Kill Pop Culture” is the anthem for a new generation of cyborg punks, with its coarse guitar dominating the instruments and burying the needle in the red. “Episode People” follows a simple guitar riff with sparks of distortion and Vulgar’s mumbling yelps describing the future.
Human Eye gives new hope to the first decade of the dawning millennium. (That’s not to say the album’s production value is space-aged. It isn’t.) Human Eye is punk the way it should sound: crude and rude, taking a chapter from Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power and injecting a new life into it. The album has an unabashed attitude and energy, and in this decade of remakes and reinterpretations, you’d be right to let your human ears find Human Eye.