As a lifelong Depeche Mode fan you can bet your finest gothic shirt that I’ll be automatically rooting for pretty much any project in which members of the synthpop heavyweights are involved although it’s not an automatic win-win situation all the time. In the case of Dave Gahan‘s vocal contribution to Rob Marshall’s Humanist project it surely is. Marshall has been quite productive over the past decade, being part of Exit Calm but it was his creative relationship with the one and only Mark Lanegan which opened up new possibilities for the multi-instrumentalist. Together they wrote and recorded his 2017 Gargoyle LP (and plenty of the 2019 follow-up Somebody’s Knocking) and it was also Lanegan who introduced Marshall to Gahan who actually stepped in for Lanegan here. It was a wise choice because the rocking Shock Collar is an opportunity to give the iconic frontman the chance to deliver a more aggressive vocal performance than on most of Depeche Mode‘s work. The self-titled Humanist debut arrives on February 21 and features a few more interesting guest vocalists like Ron Sexsmith and Joel Cadbury who you might remember from his work with UNKLE and South.