Usually an album that is written very quickly isn't very cohesive. The lyrics don't seem to fit the music and the music feels forced. But that that's not what has happened with Cyanide Canaries' most recent effort, Verify You Are A Human, an album that explores the contrast between computers and humans, but also seems to be pointing to the supposed future singularity when computers gain consciousness. What we've got here is a musical force to be reckoned with. Khalil Stemmler wrote Verify You Are A Human over the course of 35 days.
He's eighteen years old. Let me repeat that. He is eighteen years old. He only started recording his own music in 2009, yet his sound is mature and developed and feels like something that was slaved over. The sound is like that of a rock band formed by robots, featuring a mix of analog and digital instruments. Song names that would otherwise appear to be gibberish (Torywuay Nnhelph, Ecifinide of Composition) were actually pulled from CAPTCHA word generators. Which leads us to the songs themselves.
Standout tracks on the ten-track album (it also includes an additional four bonus tracks) are the aforementioned "Torywuay Nnhelph,” which is a sad observation of the world, as we currently know it. Stemmler ends the song chanting, "Entertain me, shock me and stain me..."; he is describing being caught in the endless stream of material we seek to fill in all of our waking moments. "Geist (The Lost Art Of Human Communication)" is a pulsing-bass-driven number with lyrics of disillusionment that are almost indecipherable against the industrial background noise of the song. It feels like being lost in a warehouse without windows or doors and playing with the echo to keep from going insane. "Ecifinide of Composition" is a boy sitting in his room, playing a simple chord progression and trying to make sense of what seems like a meaningless life. It's a welcome beginning to what would be side-B of the cassette version of this album, the transition to the closing chapters. "Terminal" is the computer trying to speak to us, the voice is distorted and the message is a bit garbled while the beat helps move the song forward. We are given a glimpse at what our computers are talking about when we aren't looking in Verify You Are A Machine. It is a haunting song that somehow feels true even if it is only science fiction right now.
But it could all be true.
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