The China-based experimental rock project Humans Etcetera offer a captivating soundscape of psychological tension on their new song “For The Sake of Truth,” which appears on their Nefarious Industries-released album A Normal Temporary Reaction to Life Events that comes out in full on December 31. Check out the song and an accompanying, poignant performance video for the first time exclusively below.
The studio version of the song gradually grows in unsettling intensity as the deranged rock textures feel like the musical encapsulation of a boat hitting waters rough enough to spark some seasickness. The song features a point of psychological break in the overall narrative of the album, which features a protagonist suffering through metaphysical questions brought on by altered physical states. Remarkably, that’s not at all just on paper — the sounds of the song really deliver this sometimes queasy, subtly powerful questioning. Solo guitar strumming builds into a briefly more full band sound that then gives way to the unsettling audio samples — which are kind of reminiscent of the sounds of a bar — alongside a more jagged beat.
In the video, project mastermind Chris Henry performs acoustically in a visually stark setting, and his powerfully earnest vocal work really gets a chance to shine alongside the core melodic backbone of this song, which really jumps out in the acoustic version. It’s like he’s stretching soundscape-esque, experimental rock into a renewedly personal experience. In this form, the song proves a thought-provoking ballad.
‘”For The Sake of Truth” is the rug that ties the album’s vibe and narrative together. It’s at this point the music gets darker and more turbulent. As for the story, it’s here that the protagonist drinks himself into some surreal nightmare-like predicaments. He drinks to find relief from a barrage of daily setbacks and societal demands but finds only an empty bottle. And there is no truth inside of it.’
That last line appears as a refrain in the song. Chris adds:
“Due to the song’s very layered arrangement and overall cacophony, I thought it’d be a fun challenge to try and perform it with just an acoustic guitar and vocals. After messing with it for a while, it seemed to work. So, I brought a tripod and a kitchen chair down to the basement of my building and filmed it. Shooting down there was interesting. The noise/motion activated lights kept flipping off and on. Plus, there were a few workers down there sorting out various remodeling debris, breaking down boxes, and stuff like that. They didn’t stop to watch me, but they also didn’t seem to mind me singing for them.”
Photo via radiotheartist
Check it all out below!