Human Waste Project E-Lux review

Album review from the February 1998 edition of Metal Hammer.

Human Waste Project ... The name suggests one thing, or to be exact, one kind of thing: take your pick from some hideous sewer dwelling mutant, some minimal budget 'B' movie or some viciously unforgiving industrial grindcore outfit.

As it turns out, LAs HWP are none of these, but the latest line in custom mangled metallic-pop-psychedelic hued angst from off the weirded out sidewalks of the city of pink sunsets. And this, their debut, is a bewitching Pandoras Box of volatile and unpredictable mood swings. Not as one-dimensionally channeled as their recent touring companions Tura Satana, HWPs brand of dark fairytales are way more off the wall, eclectic and generally tricky to pin down. If you're looking for some sort of reference point, HWP juggle metal, pop and trippy psychedelic influences pretty much as shaken and stirred up by fellow Los Angelinos Janes Addiction, except with what sounds like a close relative of Cyndi Lauper deputising for Perry Farrell. You could say HWP vocalist/frontgirl Aimee Echo has a distinctive, if highly mannered, assortment of vocal 'personas'. Part Cyndi Lauper baby doll kookiness, part B-52's wackiness, part Tarrie B 'scream queen' psychosis - all these and more spring to mind at various points, in what is frequently an eccentric and busy equation.

Broadly speaking, the songs on 'E-Lux' seem to divide themselves into two distinct strands: the manically wound up headspins of tracks like 'Disease' 'Drugstore' and 'Powerstrip', and on the other hand the dreamier, more dislocated haziness exhibited on the likes of 'Shine', 'Electra', and 'One Night in Spain'. On the basis of this first time effort, one of HWP's principal attractions lies in the fact that they haven't settled for the same slavish reworking of already overworked and overfamiliar formulas. E-Lux reshuffles the standard angry/feisty-babe-plus-rock-band deck of cards into something a little spikier, quirkier and generally further out than the rank-and-file stereotype, with its track listing presented as a succession of edgy sugar and spikes psycho dramas in miniature. Whether HWP blow up ballistic or just turn out to be an 'alternative' version of say Garbage, or even a skillfully concealed Siouxsie And The Banshees tribute band remains to be seen. However, if the response on the recent Tura Satana dates is anything to go by, then HWP have already gone some way towards identifying their market.


Grahame Bent.

Aimee Echo explains it all ...

Where does the name Human Waste Project come from?

There's this book called 'The Twelth Planet' by Zacchariah Sitchin (I believe it's written as The 12th Planet and that the guys name is spelt Zecharia Sitchin. Ever nit picking Dave :) )and it explains that God was an alien and how we were created as a race of slaves from DNA from a couple of star systems including the Pleiades. Then we were abandoned when this one planet went out of the earth's orbit, and that's how the name Human Waste Project makes sense to me. I've got seven stars of the Pleiades tatooed on my wrist because I firmly believe that's where my DNA comes from. Call me mad or whatever, i'm an alien.

Describe your sound...

It's real hard to pin down because we've got so many different influences going on, like love, God, pain, cigarettes, coffee, the stars, witchcraft, Enya, Slayer, Portishead, Janes Addiction, Siouxsie and the Banshees, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, friendship, family, lack of friendship, lack of family ... I could go on for days. We're pretty moody and schizophrenic and have short attention spans, so the record sounds pretty moody and schizophrenic with a short attention span!