Local Wire

Human Behavior @ Trunk Space

Tucson's Human Behavior is in the business of making you feel more uncomfortable while a banjo is playing than you're typically accustomed to feeling. All the elements are there for a typical banjo experience — close harmonies, light drumming, restrained, quiet peaks. You could assemble a folk-pop crossover band with these parts — it's just that the end result wouldn't sound right at all, even if you were sure everything was in the right place. In songs like "I'm Sorry You're Saul," everything's a little off-kilter — the voice is just a little too close to your ears, and the harmonies are somehow discomfiting and euphonious all at once, and the things he's singing about have little to do with, well, banjo topics. (Their new album, called Golgotha, has songs called "Yeshua at 12" and "I'm Sorry, Hosanna," if you'd like a taste of what they talk about instead.) Everyone's voice is just about to crack, but it's not with sadness so much as resignation. They're joined at the Trunk Space by Phoenix's Empire of the Bear, which on Big Size deploys a less-unusual combination of loud, distorted guitars and a similar, if slightly less creepy resignation.

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Dan Moore