Pablo’s Choice – Record Of The Week – 15/06/2018 – Here Lies Man – You Will Know Nothing
15th June 2018
The album has received great reviews…read a few below..
Following their 2017 self-titled debut album which earned this LA band acclaim from BBC 6 & Classic Rock Magazine, Here Lies Man return with a sound which appears both highly scientific and mathematical; yet goes back to men and nature’s roots. The band hopes to build upon the success of their debut which earned a place in Rough Trades’ Top 10 Albums of 2017.
Promising “gritty grooves”, Marcos Garcia (founder and vocalist/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist (and Antibalas guitarist) explains, “There’s an interesting conceptual mathematics to the entire proceedings. “There are interludes between each song that is 2/3 to 3/4 of the tempo of the previous song. The reason it breaks down to 2 over 3 or 3 over 4 is that everything in the music rhythmically corresponds to a set of mathematical algorithms known as the clave. The clave is an ancient organizing rhythmic principle developed in Africa.”
The statement that’s been thrown around the most with regards to Here Lies Man is “What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?” That’s one hell of an elevator pitch on its own, especially when considering the possibilities that could arise from combining deathly heavy blues with the texture and weight that comes from drawing on traditional African music. Indeed, it’s definitely enamoured plenty already given the acclaim awarded to their debut last year, and You Will Know Nothing looks to strike again while the iron is hot and continue to build on that concept.
And at first, it feels as though Here Lies Man have really missed the mark. It’s stodgy and lacking in real content, and the vaunted Afrobeat influence comes across as little more than a semi-instrumental blues-rock album with a few more percussive tendencies. Digging deeper though, You Will Know Nothing begins to reveal more with each listen, as complexities and stark senses of groove and flow unravel into a truly captivating, infectious listen. And a lot of that comes from the heavy focus on percussion and its utilisation, playing to clave rhythms prominent in Afro-Cuban music to lend a deliberate sense of pace to tracks like Blindness and Fighting that’s so more alive and vibrant that a lot of blues-rock.
Here Lies Man is somehow from both the past and the future. Drop the needle on You Will Know Nothing and the fuzzy production screams retro, but the music is nothing like you’ve ever heard. The band claims they’re what would happen if Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi started an afrobeat band, but even that’s underselling their originality. Think more along the lines of Fela Kuti with a Blue Cheer record teaching Iommi a whole new style in the sweltering Nigerian heat.
Here Lies Man is comprised of famed afrobeat group Antibalas‘ vocalist and guitarist Marcos Garcia and ex-Antibalas drummer Geoff Mann. You Will Know Nothing also includes percussionists Richard Panta and Reinaldo DeJesus, as well as interludes performed by ex-Antibalas keyboardist Victor Axelrod. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Here Lies Man pulls off their hard rock brand of afrobeat “directly from Africa” sound so flawlessly.
“Animal Noises” and “Summon Fire” start off You Will Know Nothing on sturdy, confident footing. Here Lies Man makes it clear with these tracks that there will be an excess of riffs and that each component of every song is undeniably vital to its composition. Where the guitars and keyboards are doling out crunchy licks on the two openers, Here Lies Man‘s rhythm section weaves in complimentary rhythms to stitch together a singular musical entity crackling with energetic life.