I would've asked the main Nagomu man here, Megane-kun, to write up about this album, but considering he's on vacation now and this album has been on constant rotation for me lately, I thought I would take a hand at writing up a little about this.
While 人生 were one of the more notorious groups of the Nagomu label, they are also relatively well known for spawning the talent of Pierre Taki (who donned a Doraemon costume during these days) and Takkyu Ishino, who both went on to later form Denki Groove. If you've listened to Denki Groove before you may know what kind of music to expect. Pierre and Takkyu's sense of humor is very much present within this album along with their overwhelming appreciation and undeniable love for groups like YMO, although in the form of 人生, this love for techno-pop is filtered through a very lo-fi, punk kind of approach. Swirling synths, aggressive drum machines, with some very unique vocal styling. While it may be pop to you and I, this may be a borderline headache to others.
The music of 人生 can range from pop anthems ("All Night Long") to songs that seem to call out desperation and loneliness ("City Romance") to alien-like Bob Dylan folk songs ("P-One") to a capella scatting ("Bakattsura Funk") and everything in between.
Substance III to me is the techno-pop equivalent of Boredom's Pop Tatari, albeit it much more of a pop album, it still contains a significant amount of experimentation and complete disregard for the confinements of normal listening. This is, unfortunately, the only 人生 album I have heard, so perhaps these statements can possibly apply better to another album of theirs. Despite that, Substance III is an album that is truly worth noting for it's sense of self-awareness and it's bizarre approach to techno-pop, all of this is present while still retaining a relative amount of seriousness and a large amount of sincerity, and it never once comes off as something pretentious for the sake of being pretentious.