He’s onto something, man. Yeah, we are. But it ain’t just some throwaway slogan or empty catchphrase. Nah, the stuff fueling this album, it’s coming from some intriguing places. We’re talking about novelists like Jared Diamond, with the opening track giving a nod to Mikhailovich Dostoevsky – a classic, updated with a sprinkle of references to ChatGpt and the Terminator movies, and a whole lot more besides.
But hold on, this is rock and roll! You can toss out all the clever quotes and conversation fodder you want, but none of it means jack if you don’t have the musical goods to back it up. But this, my friends, is John E. Vistic we’re talking about. Of course, he’s got the chops and the swagger to hold his own in that department.
From the get-go, with the opener “Crime and Punishment,” you’re hit with a blistering onslaught of jagged guitars and a relentless rhythm that’s Vistic’s signature – raw, gritty, and a full-blown sensory assault. This sound, it’s like the final stop on a long, alternative journey that links ’60s garage bands to ’70s punk attitudes to ’80s underground trailblazers like the Jesus and Mary Chain, and then on to his contemporaries like Idles. It’s music crafted on the fringes, with the power to tear down the mainstream and rebuild it in its own image. Oh, how I wish!
Now, “Gunz, Germz and Steal!” reminds me of the criminally overlooked Underneath What… you remember those cats, right? Brazen and twisted rock and roll that even back then, gave the idea of an alternative rock scene a run for its money. Then comes “To Every Purpose Under Heaven,” seemingly calmer and more contemplative in comparison, at least considering what’s come before. But don’t be fooled; the slightly tamed dynamics still give off a hint of that Bauhaus vibe – a direction worthy of exploration, in my opinion.
Closing things off, we’ve got the title track – a chaotic maelstrom of tumbling drums, razor-wire guitars, searing white heat energy and vocals delivered with a sneer so defiant, you’d think Mark E. Smith himself rose from the grave. This is the kind of song title that ol’ Smith would’ve penned if only he had thought of it first.
“Humanz Are Bastardz” – that’s the unmistakable sound of John E. Vistic. It’s alternative music ready to sink its teeth into the hand that feeds. It’s rock and roll in its purest form – untamed, unapologetic, unkempt, unfiltered and undeniably relevant. It’s the sound of destruction and chaos knocking on the door of those Brit school darlings who still think that sounding like a poor knockoff of Arctic Monkeys is going to save music. But more than that, it is a short, sharp and shockingly great collection of tunes that’ll knock your collective socks off.