Human Pyramids - Planet Shhh! [Review]

I remember the day I first heard “Gobbledigook” by Sigur Rós … I couldn’t remember hearing something so wonderfully joyful and brimming with life before. I recall wondering if I would ever hear something akin to this track again.

Well … it has been five years but I have finally found music that encapsulates the reckless abandon and dare-I-say fun of “Gobbledigook” … and it comes in the form of a release from a German label from a Scotsman who now resides in London.

“Planet Shhh!” by Human Pyramids is simply remarkable. 45 minutes of pure, unadulterated fun. It is a joy to listen to and I have yet to tire of it … and my listen count must be into double figures by now.

I don’t know why this album feels so vibrant and upbeat. I’m not sure if it is the instrumentation used or the heartbeat-pounding tempo of tracks … maybe it’s the way the music builds to a heady euphoric state before calming down … as I said, I don’t know … but what I do know is I like it and I like it a lot!

From the opening track – ‘Talk Tales’ – with its guitars, accordion and horns; through to the closing track – ‘Bus Stop Polka’ – with its mix of classical, afrobeat and full-on rocky guitars along with some seriously giddy percussion … “Planet Shhh!” is a celebration of life from start to finish.

It affects me from head to toe … with particular emphasis on my buttock muscles. They receive a meaningful workout every time this album plays because they are all that stands between me and total embarrassment in public places … if they weren’t clenched in such a way as to stop me getting up to get down, I would … I would be jumping around like a loon.

Because that is what this album is … it is a dance-about-like-a-loon album … and one of the finest quality.

Tracks like ‘The Bubble’ with its skittering percussion and hand-clapping participative nature really do warm the heart … getting the heart ready for the glockenspiel and frenetic drumming … before the guitars get all fuzzy. This is post-rock in its finest guise with judicious use of dynamics … the periods of loud and quiet really making for an anticipatory listening experience … especially at the end when the Latin-esque percussion kicks in. Oh my goodness … there is even strings in this track … you’d think this many sounds wouldn’t work … they’d clash or something but they work and work really well.

‘Cafe Hawelka’ – the third track – is a similar amalgam of amazing sounds … the wall-of-sound approach working so well with piano, accordion, guitars of various persuasions, and bombastic classical percussion working together to make something beautiful.

As we move through this album … the listener is presented with wall upon wall-of-sound … horns, percussion, guitars that come in many guises, melodians, glockenspiel, vocal samples … you name and it’s probably included somewhere on “Planet Shhh!” which is, as you’ve probably guessed, a very ironic title for an album that should be played loudly.

I cannot fault this album. I haven’t tired of it and look forward to many repeated listens.

What’s more … I love the cover. It is a wonderfully vibrant illustrated cover that captures something of the movement of the release and stands out on my iPhone.

In closing … “Planet Shhh!” by Human Pyramids doesn’t disappoint and cannot be faulted. It is simply remarkable … 45 minutes of pure, unadulterated fun … an utter joy to listen to.

Well done Human Pyramids and Oxide Tones!

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