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four-song single of awesome diy pop in the vein of television personalities and desperate bicycles. "oh camberwell" is a stone cold hit that could've easily been on an early tvps record, and the rest of the record isn't too far behind in terms of quality. if you're a fan of that scrappy diy sound definitely give these guys a try ... they manage to sound inventive, creative, and energetic within a very gratifying pop template.

(sorry state)

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jangly indie pop/folk wordsmithery from a british duo of guitar/vocals and drums. four songs here, all of a piece with one another, from twee to tuff twee. seems to be as much an outlet for lyrics as for the music itself, which serves as a vehicle for provincial, queer-friendly tales of bonding with people and places. decent enough!

(doug mosurock | still single)

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super sweet diy pop from these two chaps who make short, catchy songs fashioned from brittle, scratchy guitars and clear, lackadaisical vocals. occasionally something else enters into the fray – birdcalls, say, or the brisk trill of a bicycle bell – but that's about it and, truth be told, that's all things really need. songs cover london, camping, braving death-defying roundabouts and picking nettles for soup, and each one's a polite little killer, bringing to mind the television personalities, milky wimpshake, the undertones and the desperate bicycles in terms of sound and the ability to find something hearteningly worthwhile in the seemingly humdrum. playful, funny and far too easy to sling on repeat time and again, just go buy it already so i can sign off and listen to 'oh camberwell' again, k?

(alex deller | collective zine)

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if billy bragg is folk music, then this is folk punk. seriously. with the spare arrangements (most of the songs are just vocals, electric guitar and very simple/spare drums) and songs about picking nettles for soup and wanting a boyfriend who likes camping and the outdoors, this both embraces and shies away from the conventions of folk punk. the vocals have a very british sound to them, reminding me both of billy bragg and the first television personalities record, and the melodic singing works well to fill in all the spaces left by the lack of lush experimentation. the songs on this record are pleasant and charming, and worth your time if you don't consider cheesy lyrics a cardinal sin.

(langford poh | maximumrocknroll #347 | april 2012)

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another great band filtering into my consciousness late last year, (partly through the evangelism of everard records, partly via a great set i saw them play at dalston venue power lunches), humousexual are a london/berlin duo who have seemingly been around for a few years, but, perhaps owing to the inherent problems of being a london/berlin duo, have yet to make much of an impact on the wider world. this situation is hopefully soon to be rectified to a certain extent by the release of both a 7” ep on the aforementioned everard, and a self-released mini-album type thing entitled grenzenlos. each copy of the latter is rendered unique thanks to cover art featuring locations torn straight off a collection of vintage postcards – a brilliant design decision that seems to perfectly exemplify the ethos of quality, self-sufficiency and personal connection captured in the band’s music.

grenzenlos is seven songs, all loosely themed around travel and places, and all extremely good. building on an unapologetically rough bedrock of od channel guitar, stand-up drumming and this-is-my-speaking-voice-what’s-the-problem-w/-that vocals, humousexual could be said to kinda split the difference between classic pop-punk, messthetics amateurism and c86 bounce, but really i think their chief characteristic is more that of making music entirely devoid of affectation. a rare occurrence in rock/pop music, not necessarily always a good thing, but in this case, both disarming and… what’s the word..? ‘refreshing’, maybe? ugh, no – makes them sound like mouthwash or something, but i can’t think of an alternative right now – you get what i mean.

there’s a billy bragg-esque ‘blokes singing songs about stuff that matters to them’ sorta feel to what humousexual do, but with the earnestness and miscellaneous twattery that blights most such contemporary ‘folk songs for modern times’ singer-songwriter type ventures cannily avoided – partly through keeping the pace fast and the punk grit foregrounded, but mostly just by being funny and elegantly constructed and generous of spirit and righteous of intent and just, well, good, y’know.

it’s hard to express the extent to which i’ve grown to love the songs on this cd over the past couple of months. playing them all several times over during a long, cold walk down the old kent road in december, i wanted to clutch them to my heart in some weird gesture of brotherhood, to do *something* to try to express my solidarity with these two voices in my headphones, who seem very much to be rising above the confusion and isolation and cultural disintegration of these dark days, cutting the crap and pressing forward (politically/aesthetically/morally/musically) in the right direction.

recommended about as strongly as it’s possible to recommend anything.

(stereo sanctity)

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here’s a 7” from the wackily-monikered humousexual. what we’ve got here is four tracks of quite earnest-sounding and understated t**e indie pop. they’re a duo so it’s pretty minimal, with quite thin, trebly guitar and drums being the only accompaniment to the nonchalant slice-of-life vocals. the lyrics are quite likeable and funny and the tunes are dead catchy but there’s not a lot that’s really sucking me in here. if you’re into all things t**e and lo-fi, though, don’t let me put you off.

(norman records)

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it's only seven tracks, but i'm gonna call it an album. sue me. this record just blew me away in a way i never expected. sure, i like tahini beach party, but it never made me feel like this. from the first song to the last, this is an incredible little album and sadly one that far too few people will ever hear. or is it sad? maybe we don't want "them" to find out about humousexual? maybe they're one of those bands that should be treasured by a few. i'm pretty sure victor and boitel are reasonably happy with that ... if not, i guess i'll help spread the word some more.

(records make great pets)

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i had always assumed humousexual to be way too cool for me. the people that usually name-dropped them were the same people who regularly snapped up micro-pressings of impossibly obscure bands who everyone else but me seemed to know about. and so, i'm mildly ashamed to say, i ignored them. how daft and stubborn is that? that was, until i saw them at this year's london popfest, where they were probably the best band of the weekend for me. i then bumped into victor at indietracks, and he was the most charming, shy, unassuming person ever. and so i decided to warm to humousexual immediately, and so it's a good job that 'meaning to these maps' is such an ace record - their first in seven years. it's five songs are full of urgency and fun and politics and pop and make a dreary sunday seem slightly more bearable. there's scratchy guitars and defiant lyrics and a underlying sense that humousexual, despite this outward display of being oh-so-humble, are really quite dangerous indeed.

(a layer of chips)

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humousexual plays pretty indie pop. they have quiet songs with handclaps and whistling that range in topic from the innocuous to political -- all of it pretty hilarious. i mean, the name of the [album] is tahini beach party and it features such song titles as "give me humous or give me death", "sex lib d-beat" and "supermarket humous vs smoked tofu spread". anyway, it's cute, pro-queer, pro-vegan eats, and pro-laughs. oh, and they get bonus points for the following lyrics: "girls, grow moustaches and eat molasses/ boys, wear bikinis and eat tahini"

(ariel awesome | maximumrocknroll #283 | dec 2006)

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tahini beach party is the latest release by humousexual. no, that's no typo, that's their name - really! if you've never heard of them, don't worry, they're part of a new wave of queer music that couldn't be further away from the discos and meat markets of the scene, so it's unlikely you will have gurned to them after necking six e's.

even though humousexual, also known as victor and boitel, aren't the kind of act that usually get invited to do pa's at superclubs or turns on the queer cabaret circuit, their music is charming and infectious (in a good way) and once you've heard them you're unlikely to forget the experience.

tahini beach party is a collection of 16 songs that the pair have released themselves through the ultra-independent label irrk, a non-profit label run by a group of friends. following a do it yourself punk ethic, irrk state: "we are united in our love for making music however we can; expressing our hearts and souls as best we can, with whatever instruments and training (or lack of) that we have. we release these records so that others can hear them and we in turn can hear others, in the hope that we are part of some kind of community of like-minded folk."

bearing this in mind, humousexual are like an indie band with added queer political consciousness, all mixed up with a lo-fi beat.

upon listening to their music you'll find that their comedy name is deceptive. although songs such as "humous vs humanities" are kind of funny and odd, the bulk of the songs on tahini beach party are thoughtful, even deep.

one quirky love song about cycling gives way to another about a love of black music and the way that its history is hidden in modern gay dance club culture. "batty street" is a song about queeruption, which is an occasional alternative gathering of queer people that's been happening around the world since 1998. other songs mix up languages and there's even a bit of polari thrown in. mind you, having said that there's also "supermarket humous vs smoked tofu spread" in which we learn that germany is a good place to live if you like tofu.

humousexual like to mix up their emotions as much as they mix up their musical styles. tahini beach party is much more experimental than past releases, incorporating noise, electronic beats and other lo-fi innovations alongside the more familiar two-boys-with-a-tape-recorder effect. some of the experimentation is more successful than others but, as victor and boitel explain: "yeah, we like our grub vegan but this song is just a bit of messin' about, innit?"

you probably won't find humousexual in the virgin megastore, and even if they were there you might not know which section they'd be stacked in: lo-fi pop? queer music? punk? never mind, tahini beach party is a lovely cd, worth some space in anyone's collection. it's music with great heart, music with a message.

(charlotte cooper | rainbownetwork | may 2005)

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lesbo pig and humousexual are two little bands that have just released a joint record together. yes, a record, do you remember them? lesbo pig/humousexual is a seven-inch ep, with four songs on each side spilt between the two groups. it's one of the best things that you'll hear all year.

gay music is a curious thing, it's often split right down the middle with fluffy disco for the boys and angsty yet babelicious singer-songwriters for the girls. but lesbo pig and humousexual could not be less interested in those cliches, and their music has created a new stopping off point for queer music made collaboratively.

lesbo pig's side of the record is quiet and understated. their music is sweetly sung but not saccharin, it's inventive, amusing and very lo-fi. some tracks were recorded in their living room in the spirit of doing it yourself. other tracks were recorded at an art event entitled a political feeling ... which took place in london earlier this year. included are songs written for and about two of the band's friends. helen, an anti-war protestor, writer and author of the fantastic this is! zine, and charlotte, who is involved with the underground queer scene in london and who "has always dreamed of being the first person to pilot revolutionary methods of baby making using two ladies, splicing x-chromosomes in the dead of night."

humousexual are a pair of pals who sing songs about friendship, love, boredom, and other everyday things. they use guitars, keyboards and very little else. to say that their style is unflashy is the understatement of the century, it's completely laid back, lacking in ego, pomp or pretentiousness. what i like about their songs is the quiet humanity in them; this is a version of queer life that i can relate to, made by people who are disenfranchised by the whole muscle-mary-on-e generation. it's emotionally literate, friendly, upbeat and, well, i can't think of a better word than "charming" to describe it.

the best song by far on their side of the record is "yumus", a strikingly catchy homage to humous (yes, that gloopy chick pea dip / spread that lives in every queer fridge) that includes a useful recipe for the stuff. delightful.

lesbo pig/humousexual is a record with great heart. it's unlikely to go charging up the charts, and you probably won't hear it whilst gurning your face off in a club this summer. but out there somewhere, queer men and women are making records together, writing and performing songs that are tender and real. you should really check it out.

(charlotte cooper | rainbownetwork | aug 2004)