This Makes Us Human are a post-rock band hailing from Rome, Italy. Their self-titled album is their debut and the first album released by Fluttery Records in 2017. One would never know that this is a debut album because, quite frankly, it’s mature and epic in scope. The album is powerful, subtle, decisive, and evocative on several levels. This Makes Us Human is made up of Jack (guitar), Persiano (guitar), Joe (bass), and Ale (drums, fx). They play a brand of post-rock that works within the conventions but does so with a compositional depth that makes them stand out from the vast field of others in the genre.
“Glare” starts off this self-titled offering with a sample of a news real connected to the war on drugs in the United States. The reel sounds like Reagan spouting his lies. The drums clack and thump over the sample and then bright, reverb-washed guitar come into the mix. A second guitar enters and bass brings in a beautiful deep tone to the overall structure. At about 2:30, the walls of sound erupt as guitars trill and wash over the bass and drums in a Caspian style cascade. The ebb and flow of the track have a strong emotive core. “Letters from Alaska” begins with a tonally gorgeous delay and reverb ridden guitar. It is slow and the melody beautiful. This leads into an almost march-like snare driven percussion and subtle bass work. When the drums drop out of the mix, the guitars are expressive and sit in conversation with one another, echoing bright, dreamy phrases. The build erupts at about 4:45, as the song really evokes the desolate snowy mountains of Alaska and the isolation of distance from someone.
“Här Soørä” is a hard-hitting composition right out of the gate. Aggressive percussion, bass, and guitar explode into the speakers. At about 1:36, the percussion goes silent and then all the textures and tones change to fuzzier and crisper elements. Another guitar is washed out, almost like it’s playing under water. It’s the shortest track on the album but it is a powder-keg that goes off and explodes for the entire duration. “Hope (liesdownonatraintoberlin)” begins with the sound of a train clacking over tracks. It’s very soothing, as the familiar scene sets up a glistening guitar being picked over the continued sounds of the train. Tom-heavy drums begin to fill out the mood as guitars build droney walls. The title does indeed describe the feel of the piece as the guitars sing out hopeful tones and phases. At 5:25, the volume turns up and there are dense fuzzed out guitars creating a swirling cacophony in which the rest of the sounds dance.
“Ask the Wolf” begins with another sample, this time of echoing chatter, undefinable. The percussion in the track is more brassy with high hat and cymbals acting as main accents. Ale has a great sense of using the percussion to give different compositions character. Joe is a subtle bass player, working deep in the pocket and gluing the entire endeavor together. Jack and Perisano have amazing soaring guitar work on “Ask the Wolf” as they press the composition toward its crescendo. “Apology for a Revolution” comes into the speakers as a stunning drone, humming and varying in tone slightly here and there. A heart eventually beats, rising over the ambience, children then laugh in the speakers with bass taking a prominent role as it plays overtop. It’s a haunting piece evoking the price paid in certain political conditions. Guitars weep over subtle samples of someone speaking. Then the guitars growl, rising in defiance and yet, they still have a mournful tinge.
This Makes Us Human gets its name from the idea that making music is one way that we demonstrate and exercise our humanity. Given this core understanding of the band, it’s clear that they take it seriously with their pointed ability to create emotionally charged compositions housed in well-written songs that are deep and mature. This Makes Us Human is an impressive debut album and I cannot wait to see what This Makes Us Human does next.