Album Review: Human Aftertaste – Black Toad

Human Aftertaste
Black Toad

DC Comics introduced us to Bizarro World, the cubical world where everything is the opposite of our world. The Bizarro aesthetic code was “Us love ugliness!” Human Aftertaste would, I guess, be the Bizarro Bieber. They’ve gone through various incarnations through the past several years but there’s a consistent commitment to all that is unholy, bloody, excremental and perverse. Their attraction to all that repels the regular citizens, like Bizarro World, is logically leaky—even the most ‘normal’ among us has a soft spot for something they know is wrong, and these guys aim to please.

Human Aftertaste has always played their decadence for laughs. Their shows are famously messy freak shows, and just when you think you’re in on the joke, things just get weirder. Everyone has a good time, even if that stain never comes out. But Black Toad is something of a departure from their earlier CDs. They’ve completed the transition from a rock band to an all-electronic outfit.

The lyrics might not be appropriate for Vacation Bible School, but these songs are actually well-constructed synth-pop. They sound a bit like late-period Nine Inch Nails, but with a sense of humor. In the place of Reznor’s market-tested anguish we get “Pump That Pussy Up.” “Claws in the carpet, don’t hold back, if you need a post, I’ll give you something to scratch.” Count Jabula—a pot-bellied, be-mulleted dirtbag in women’s underpants—delivers lines with unsavory panache.

Human Aftertaste has stepped up their game on Black Toad. They’re still clowns, to be sure, but this is better Industrial EDM than what a lot of people make when they’re dead serious. They may be the Devil’s own Cirque Du Soleil, but there’s some serious music to go with the dirty jokes now. You’ll actually want to invite them into your home these days, but keep some professional cleaning products close at hand.