Published Feb 20, 2015After years of EPs and mixtape releases and constant touring that's made the Vancouver duo almost a household name, Humans finally release their debut full-length, Noontide, on longtime label Hybridity Music. Immediately, with opening track "Tell Me" and subsequent songs "Over Again," "Ennio" and "Watusi," vocalist Robbie Slade's innocuous crooning lulls the listener while the shifting electronic palette deftly exemplifies why Humans have always been a favourite — their mix of indie-electro-pop rife with experimentation can just as easily start with a spattering of light keys or riffs, with Slade set over top, as it can end in a spasm of surly electro.
What's different about this Humans release, though, is it's a polished product, much more so than prior releases; the problem is that the polish robs Noontide of the raw sound Humans are so good at achieving. "Cold Soba" attempts to chip away at the lacquer with its piles of billowing synths and progressive percussion, but loses the momentum is lost in subsequent tracks and comes to a full stop on "At the Beach," a six-minute track that fluctuates so little it comes across like an over-extended outro. Noontide is consistent enough to like, but it's lacking the rough-around-the-edges charm with which Humans made their name. (Hybridity)