For those who passed Grand Delusions 101, I have some great news. School is back in session.
Like self-reflection via experimental art Ian James is back with a vengeance.
Perhaps I’ve been consumed by his raw purity or perhaps I’ve just fallen into a Human Casualty, but James’ latest release is the basis for inspiration. His ability to constantly grind out new sounds while riding closely to the basics crafts a contradiction of complexity via simplicity.
James is not some unknown Grammy Award waiting to happen. We established this months ago, yet he keeps on driving forward. I’m hardly complaining here because you see, Ian James is the musician’s musician. He is everything Clear Channel will not play. He is the guy who, years from now will be acknowledged as an influence of some mainstream success to which everyone will run out and collect his tracks claiming they knew of him when.
Human Casualty culminates as eleven tracks, and three bonus tracks (including a take on OMC), that admittedly do not quite resonate in the same fashion we had with Delusions. Where he would previously linger on ambient, he strums a distorted power chord.
Though not a big, game changing difference, there is enough to notice an evolution in Human Casualty. “Intermission” lingers on early Nugent-like riffs, you know the ones before the outspoken bow hunter tried to be serious and before he released “Wango Tango.” James’ slightly off the beaten path delivery creates a dichotomy of dark and harmonious in “No Harm” and becomes a rock sermon in “These Games,” reiterating his ability to make a lot of a little. At this rate, he is building the groundwork for nothing short of an underground treasure.
Ian James embodies progressive experimental rock with enough tenacity to maintain a grasp on reality and he is sure to turn a few heads. In the seemingly never-evolving world of big names being force-fed by big labels, a sound like Human Casualty is audible ipecac; it will cleanse you of the toxins you’ve been stomaching for all these years. It holds the power to wake you up from the Kubrickian nonsense; you just need to let it happen my brothers.