Noise Rock supergroup Human Impact delivers powerful performance in Kansas City

Chris Spencer performing with Human Impact at recordbar in Kansas City. Photo: Josh Chaikin

With the world slowly opening up, Kansas City had no shortage of entertainment options on Sunday night. Downtown was packed with sports fans watching the Chiefs play the Broncos. At the newly-christened T-Mobile Center, James Taylor and Jackson Browne were headlining. Just a few blocks away, noise rock supergroup Human Impact were playing. Never afraid to get down and dirty (though aching in the morning), we popped in for some industrial sounds.

With a debut album coming out in March of 2020, it’s not surprising if you haven’t heard of them. With only some NYC shows under their belt before the world shut down, Human Impact were ready to hit the road. Rolling Stone praised their debut album with, “it sounds as heavy as a sledgehammer,” and I could not agree more.

This supergroup features Chris Spencer from Unsane on vocals and guitar, Jim Coleman from Cop Shoot Cop on keyboard, and sampler, and Chris Pravdica and Phil Puleo from Swans and Cop Shoot Cop on bass, and drums respectively.

The music is hard-hitting, hypnotic, and electrifying. Human Impact is unambiguous in their message. The Dead Sea for instance, says “Profit is king” and warns us to “Breathe slow/Nowhere to go/But probably see/But probably kill you and me.” says Chris Spencer “Everything might be collapsing, but we put positivity out there.”

Human Impact brings an authenticity, to their performance, and connection with their audience. While the opening bands brought a lot of moshing, or other concert-goers sitting at the bar, Human Impact brought the crowds to the stage, throwing their fists in the air, in solidarity.

The combination of hypnotic vocals, mesmerizing riffs, and driving bass, brings an ethereal presence to the live music experience, punctuated by dim lighting brought by recordbar. Admittedly, I was not familiar with Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, or Swan prior to the concert, but there was a mastery of the instruments on display that compel me to dive deeper into the musical library.

Human Impact gives a visceral response. A jolt of adrenaline that puts you a little off balance. A surge of adrenaline as if you heard footsteps behind you in a dark alley, only to turn around, and find you’re by alone.

With a short run of tour dates left, you would do well to catch them if you can.


11/26 Brooklyn at Market Hotel

11/27 Baltimore at Metro Gallery

11/28 Philadelphia at Kung Fu Necktie

11/30 Pittsburgh at Club Café

12/01 Indianapolis at HiFi

12/02 Detroit at Lager House

12/03 Grand Rapids at Pyramid Scheme

12/04 St. Louis at Off Broadway

12/05 Kansas City at Record Bar

12/06 Minneapolis at 7th Street Entry

12/08 Chicago at Empty Bottle

12/09 Louisville at Headliners Music Hall

12/10 Newport at Southgate House Revival

12/11 Cleveland at Grog Shop

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