Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA — Before the pandemic took hold and when I still lived in Brooklyn, I had been planning to check out Human Impact’s first-ever show at Saint Vitus in mid-March of last year. I’m lukewarm on the records they’ve put out since, so I wasn’t going to bother with this tour, especially since their tour mates Child Bite (who I’ve previously seen and enjoyed) weren’t playing the Philly show, but my friend Matt invited me to come, and I’m glad he did.
My main interest in Human Impact is the rhythm section it shares with Swans, which is best experienced at a punishing volume. They didn’t disappoint, and Chris Pravdica’s volcanic bass tone in particular demands to be heard live and loud. Even though I don’t find Human Impact’s songs all that memorable, the sensation of that kind of all-consuming sound rattling my bones was an absence I felt acutely over the many interminable months of pandemic lockdown.
This was also my first visit to Kung Fu Necktie, which opened just a couple of months before I moved away from Philly in the fall of 2008. I’m glad to report it’s my kind of room, with a divey rock and roll atmosphere and great sound.