This review appeared in Kerrang! dated 4 October 1997
The queue outside the Roxy is unbelievably long. Hordes of bedraggled kids are despondantly hoping to obtain elusive tickets for tonight's show. The club's manager is panicking, screaming at the girl in the ticket office: "I don't care WHAT they tell you, the guest list is CLOSED!".
Inside, the hemmed-in crowd has heated the venue beyond human tolerance levels. By the time local rising stars, Human Waste Project bound onstage gaily, the pressure cooker is in full effect.
For someone who has written so many songs about being a slave to love, dreadlocked singer Aimee Echo maintains an intoxicatingly gleeful, girlish quality. She can belt out a scolding refrain to an ex-lover, as she does during 'Slide' and 'Exit Wound' - both standuots from 'e*lux', HWP's forthcoming debut album - and make it sound like a polite request for a shandy.
But that's what guitarist Mike Tempesta, drummer Scott Ellis and bassist Jeff Schartoff are there for. Tempesta (whose brother, White Zombie drummer John, watches proudly from the audience) prods his guitar angrily, wringing unearthly whines and pleas from the suffering instrument; Schartoff, his face partly hidden by lengthy branches of dreadlocks, starts nearly every song off with an ominous grumble from his four string.
They've been steadily gigging for almost three years now, and their following has grown and grown. Echo's charm is the bands secret weapon in a scene increasingly clogged by bands churning out a bass heavy din. She announces that she wishes she had worn trousers tonight, so that she could dance with the fans down the front.
It ends too quickly, with a droning compelling cover of Depeche Modes 'I Feel You', Echo's voices shimmering in mid-air. Sweaty being fall limply to the floor. Everyone has been sufficiently Wasted.
Most Rocking Moment: Human Waste Project's signature songs "Powertrip" and 'Slide'.
Least Rocking Moment: Not a single Wasted moment.
Best Onstage Quote: "You people in the back rows think you're so fucking cool huh?" - Aimee Echo.
Verdict: Is it hot in here, or is it just them?