First thing that hits you about Once Human is – Logan Mader (Ex Machine Head and Ex Soulfly) quite literally, when his 21 year old dreads (he informed me) are lashed and flung from one end of the stage to the other! Then the rest of the band appear, fronted by the gorgeous Lauren Hart, who immediately, just fired up and blasted straight into their 6 song set taken from their ridiculously outstanding debut album, ‘The Life I Remember’, to warm the stage up in support for Fear Factory. Logan leads the way, going at it like a maniac right from the off, and it’s hard to believe that he’s been away from the limelight for 12 years, amazingly, he still looks as comfortable as the lead guitarist again, as he does behind a mixing desk in a studio, being one of the music industry’s most influentially important and sought after producers.
A somewhat sceptical looking crowd soon lose their unfounded doubts as the vicious vocals from Hart leave quite a few frozen to the spot, with fly catching gasps firmly fixed on their faces… Move over Arch Enemy, new kids OnceHuman, are laying claim to the block. For a young band still in its inception to come out and perform as tight and as furious as they did, was all down to the total excellence in musicianship, and all under the watchful eye of Logan Mader who put the band together, and is well renowned for having high standards in everything he does.
Hart has a raw and natural ability on stage, although at times during the between song banter, it was clear that she’s still a little green around the gills, but her amazing stage presence mixed with a seriously aggressive vocal style more than made up for it and an enthusiastic crowd were soon behind her, cheering and head banging.
Damien Rainaud on bass is a calm, cool and collected customer indeed; confidently striding around the stage like he owned the place, with some four stringed mean moves. The 21 year Dillon Trollope on drums has been playing since he was 5 years old and is practically a veteran, his skill set on the skins was mind blowing to say the least. The dual guitar duties where shared by Logan and another youngster in the band, Skyler Howren, who stepped up to centre stage often, delivering solos like his life depended on it.
Now if there were any dubious thoughts from the crowd at first, they were soon blown out the window as Once Human kicked into their Machine Head cover, ‘Davidian’, a favourite of and co written by Logan. The blooming whole of the venue lost the plot and went wild, moshers taking off and bodies flying about, Logan joined in jumping up, what looked like 6 feet in the air with his knees touching his nose and blonde dreads reaching for the sky.
This is what it’s all about, what a show these guys put on, it really is hard to believe that as a band they had only done about 40 shows together, and we got the privilege of seeing them in their infancy, and let me tell you after what I witnessed live and after talking to the guys, I can assure you that there will be plenty more of that to come.
There’s nothing mundane or ordinary about Once Human at all, with their unprecedented talents for song writing, musicianship, image and performance, they have it all. And I for one look forward to Album number two in 2016, in the meantime, do yourselves a favour and grab a copy of their debut, ‘The Life I Remember’, a must have downright filthy beast of an album.
Words by Brenda McTaggart
Photo Credit: Mark McGrogan
TRAIL OF TEARS/GROUND ZERO
PICK YOU POISON
THE LIFE I REMEMBER
TIME OF THE DISEASE
DAVIDIAN (Machine Head cover)