|Studio album by Abandoned Pools|
|Released||September 25, 2001|
|Recorded||2001 at Q Division in Boston, Tommy's apartment in Los Angeles, and Space Slacker International in Silverlake|
|Genre||Alternative rock, industrial rock|
|Label||Extasy Records/Warner Bros. Records|
|Producer||Paul Q. Kolderie, Sean Slade, Tommy Walter|
|Abandoned Pools chronology|
Humanistic is the debut album by Abandoned Pools. It was released in September 2001. Though two songs were co-written by Pete Pagonis, the album is considered a solo work of Tommy Walter's in which he used new material, as well as several songs he'd worked on beforehand in both Tely and Metromax, to compose, record, and release on Extasy Records.
The album features a contrast of dark, gloomy, and sometimes aggressive songs such as "The Remedy" and "Blood" and more serene, upbeat tracks like "Start Over" and "Sunny Day." Elements of industrial rock are evident in various ways; keyboard is used in light melody of the ironically dark-lyric-themed "Ruin Your Life" as well as the raging chorus of "Fluorescein," and ambiguous, non-sung vocal recordings are featured in various tracks. Synth effects are also utilized in various songs. Four tracks include backing vocals by Angie Hart of Frente!. Hart's harmony style alongside Walter's somewhat androgynous voice creates a unique vocal chemistry.
Touring and promotion
While Humanistic was released in September 2001, the majority of promotion took place from early to mid-2002; indeed, the album and its singles did not begin to chart until March 2002 and commonly peaked around May. Leah Randi and Bryan Head filled out the ranks of bassist and drummer for the album's tour support. They had several successful tours, going across the country and headlining with acts such as Garbage and Lenny Kravitz.
A music video was produced for the lead single, "The Remedy," and saw substantial airplay on MTV2. "Mercy Kiss" and "Monster" were second and third video/single releases; however, the latter consisted of tour footage and was released long after the others via MTV's website. "Start Over" was also included on the National Lampoon's Van Wilder soundtrack in March 2002.
The group performed "The Remedy" on the June 5, 2002 edition of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the June 26 edition of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. A large amount of songs off Humanistic were also featured on the MTV animated series Clone High which debuted in November that year, with "Start Over" being the finale song of the show. However, after the series was dropped by MTV in February 2003, Abandoned Pools stopped touring (largely due to the dissolution of their label, Extasy Records).
The album received overall high praise upon release. Jason Thompson of PopMatters compared Humanistic to Billy Corgan's solo work and noted it as much more successful. He went on to proclaim, "Humanistic is a fantastic album that could be considered a masterpiece of electro-pop... Walter has a gift for creating dense pop confections that manage to float like a feather even with all of their heaviness." Often referring to the 31 year-old as a "kid," Thom Jurek of Allmusic described Walter as a "harder-rock version of Tommy Gnosis: vulnerable, lost, and wanting desperately to put it all into terms that are rock & roll enough to make him stand out from the crowd."
All songs by Tommy Walter except where noted.
- "The Remedy" - 3:57
- "Mercy Kiss" - 3:17
- "Start Over" - 4:03 (Tommy Walter, Pete Pagonis)
- "Monster" - 3:49
- "Blood" - 4:13
- "Suburban Muse" - 3:50
- "Sunny Day" - 4:02
- "L.V.B.D." - 3:27
- "Ruin Your Life" - 3:45
- "Never" - 3:38 (Tommy Walter, Pete Pagonis)
- "Seed" - 3:30
- "Fluorescein" - 4:19