Human Don’t Be Angry - Human Don’t Be Angry (4 stars)

Komische-influenced instrumental masterpiece from Malcolm Middleton

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Human Don’t Be Angry - Human Don’t Be Angry

(Chemikal Underground)

In the bowels of a radioactive pop bunker somewhere between Glasgow and Falkirk, Malcolm Middleton has spent 18 months incubating a (super) heroic alter-ego.

We all thought we knew the mild-mannered Middleton – sublime melodist with Arab Strap; acclaimed creator of solo albums like A Brighter Beat and Into The Woods – but behind the smile and modest beard, there throbbed the fluorescent brain of an ambient 80s overlord. He was hatching a plan for interplanetary domination, as soundtracked by the Art of Noise, Tangerine Dream, Whitesnake and Top Gun, and his plotting has borne brilliant fruit in the guise of Human Don’t Be Angry.

From the gorgeous alt-MOR swell of ‘Monologue: River’ to the lambent riffs and glimmering krautrock of ‘First Person Singular, Present Tense’ – not to mention the discombobulating art-pop thrill of ‘1985’ – Human Don’t Be Angry is a captivating, drum-embracing beast. It is fortified by guitar-fuelled instrumental adventures (‘The Missing Plutonium’), Frankie Goes to Hollywood homages (‘After the Pleasuredome’) and a fitting widescreen leitmotif (‘HDBA Theme’).

While Middleton’s solo lyrics are typified by self-deprecation, Human Don’t Be Angry’s vocalisms are more forthright, driven and loved-up. ‘I’m coming your way,’ he threatens on the cosmic marital aria, ‘Asklipiio’. Human, gird thy loins.

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