Corruption Of The Human Heart
August Spies is the new project from Hell Is For Heroes frontman Justin Scholsberg and sees him trading the post hardcore noise from his previous band into a more stripped down and calmer style of music that suits his voice just as well and his debut EP Corruption Of The Human Heart is a collection of songs that sees him pour his heart over sparse and raw musical soundscapes.
Corruption Of The Human Heart is obviously a completely different musical beast than Hell Is For Heroes but the one thing that they have in common is the distinctive and powerful voice that Schlosberg has and it is laid bare on the EPs give tracks.
A succession of minimalist beats starts things out before Schlosberg’s vocals kick in on opening track This Is How It Ends and the track lays things on the line with some stirring strings adding to the effect later on and this track gets things off to a great start. The heartbreaking but also triumphant Accidents Happen follows and sees more strings added to the mix and is a soaring yet downbeat song and with a Nick Cave or Tom Waits feeling about it both musically and lyrically, beautiful but heartbreaking simultaneously.
That Nick Cave comparison is also an apt description for You Killed My Love which definitely has a Murder Ballads vibe throughout, with some effective piano work lighting up Schlosberg’s tender and fragile vocals, and this undoubtedly makes them all the more powerful.
The EPs title track takes a more upbeat approach and features an impressive array of female vocals which works very well with Schlosbergs to create a definite stirring track. Corruption Of The Human Heart concludes with Put Your Hands Together which ends things on a high, albeit in a more morose fashion initially before morphing into a passionate anthem that evokes a sense of hope and happiness and is definitely as stirring as what has preceded it and shows that there is light beyond the darkness.
With an effective production courtesy of Pelle Henricsson (who worked with Refused on their seminal Shape Of Punk To Come), the main focal point is the vocals on show and they compliment with the soul searching and heart wrenching storytelling vibe of the lyrics to create a compelling listening experience. Corruption Of The Human Heart is a fine introduction to the music of August Spies, more of which we will hopefully hear more of in the future.
August Spies Corruption of The Human Heart released 6th May 2019 and out now.
Words: Gavin Brown