Arbouretum’s mystic folk-rock uses English folk, country blues, Americana and 70s psychedelia as touchpoints in their singular and distinctive sound and they’ve perfected the craft of storytelling, using a delicate interplay of melodies and prosaic lyrics. Let It All In is their most accomplished and evocative album yet. Guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann’s melodies and solos remain a central focus bolstered by the hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender and drummer Brian Carey, enhanced by Matthew Pierce’s substantial yet understated keyboard figures. Each song a vivid scene or tale; Heumann’s deep sense of spirituality and command of storytelling through myth and metaphor transports the listener to another world and time.
Ride the Skies is the second album by Lightning Bolt, and this re-release makes it available to fans for the first time since it’s original release. Compared to their first album it’s cleaner, tighter, recorded in studio rather than live. Which is not to say this is boring or sanitized in any way, Lightning Bolt never fail to make magic, filling a space with loud, raw sound. Sounds of synth or guitar turn out to be bass, and riffs become patterns, become a beat in the background, become a wall of noise, become a clear sound above it all. Lightning Bolt are known for the sound that truly comes into it’s own in this album. Ride the Skies is rereleased with deluxe packaging featuring jacket art that was designed by Brian Chippendale for the original release but has never been realized until now.
Sightless Pit may be a new name in heavy music, however its members are anything but, some of the most groundbreaking artist of the genre. Lee Buford (The Body), Kristin Hayter (Lingua Ignota) and Dylan Walker (Full of Hell) recorded their debut Grave of a Dog at Machines with Magnets with Seth Manchester (The Body, Lightning Bolt). Fans will recognize immediately Buford’s singular percussion and production, Walker’s venomous howl and Hayter’s virtuosic voice. The three share a bleak vision of existence and a willingness to follow each other into the musical abyss.
Produced and recorded by Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo), and mixed by Chris Cohen (Captured Tracks, Deerhoof), the album finds its niche in the hazy sonic landscape of private press country and psych records, and alongside artists like Relatively Clean Rivers, Jim Sullivan, Kenny Knight, and countless other explorers of the pastoral underground.
Long sought after, this record has not been available new on vinyl since it’s first pressing two decades ago. Released as a double LP, the second LP features songs recorded at the same time but never released before on vinyl. Packaged in a silkscreen wrap using the original design by Brain Chippendale, printed by Crosshair. Truly, a must-have for any Lightning Bolt fan.
Since their first moment, it seems like they’ve been as electric as their name suggests. Lightning Bolt, their first album, captures that energy in a raw form. Famously lo-fi, this is the album that’s been described as most feeling like being at one of their shows. It’s difficult to listen and not want to jump with the crowd it feels like must be huddled around the amp producing an incredible wave of noise, astonishingly coming from just two musicians. You can hear the threads of their later work; use of repetition, a sense of grinding and building, noise melting to guitar solos. This album is loud, and the riffs repeated become mesmerizing as they warp slowly thru the songs.
Sounds created for no reason. Sounds that come and go, and disappear into the air like a scent, as soon as they materialize. Atonal phrases that hold the meaning of words that existed before the advent of language. The wonders of a vortex pulsing with life. Just as a new discovery is actually a new way of looking to see what has always been there, OOIOO, seemingly from the core of their being, created a world of sound made up of parts well known that is strikingly precise and intensely original. After a six year hiatus, OOIOO has created a new album that goes back to the roots of being a four-piece band. The music shows the full spectrum of the unique sound they have crafted throughout the years, which can only be described as “OOIOO”.
It might come as a surprise that nijimusi was recorded mainly using a conventional rock ensemble of two guitars, bass, and drums. OOIOO viewed their instruments simply as “objects that make sounds”, and took a primitive and basic approach to creating the music. The drum tones fluctuate powerfully through the air, while sounding as if they are being observed under a microscope. Bass notes and electronic bursts are so dense that they sound like they’ve been vacuum-sealed. The arrangement of the tones seem to be almost ancient, transcending the notion of a musical ensemble, suggesting the connectivity and oneness that is inherent in all living creatures.
Founded in 1995 by legendary percussionist/guitarist/vocalist YoshimiO, OOIOO’s members came together as musicians who move freely between the audible and inaudible, rhythm and non-rhythm, noise and silence. The music they create is a collection of moments and essences of their favorite sounds, captured as they were created before returning into the ether. In 2016, drummer MISHINA joined the band, allowing more freedom in their rhythmic approach and overall sound. Just as each cell in the body consists of a microcosm of its own, the vibrations of each of the members resonate together to create a new life form, a process reflected in nijimusi.
nijimusi can be considered music, but is also a work of art that stimulates the sense of touch and smell, while being atmospheric and ethereal at the same time. If music is an art form based on the sense of hearing and the concept of time, this album may be deviating from the conventional definition of music. The work is a reflection of the sounds resonating from OOIOO while as they were completely present in the moment. The sounds are like the cries emanating from a creature called OOIOO, proof that it is a living, breathing being. Experience the sounds of OOIOO that can only be heard in the here and now.
The Body have been consistently releasing the most forward-thinking work in heavy music, both on their own and in collaboration for the last 20 years, collaborating with the likes of Thou, Full of Hell, Uniform, The Haxan Cloak, The Assembly of Light Choir, Krieg, Braveyoung, and Vampillia is emblematic of their love for the collaborative process. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, The Body chose to release a special limited double LP of remixes from their previous albums, simply titled Remixed, and including a deluxe poster cataloguing the nearly 100 shirts the band have printed in their career. The artists selected to for the remixes include longtime friends, artists who The Body have influenced or been influenced by, and artists with whom the band share a mutual respect.
Full list of remixers: Moor Mother, Lingua Ignota, Container, Peter Rehberg (Pita, KTL), Moss of Aura (Gerrit Welmers of Future Islands), Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit, Bloodyminded, Sow Discord (Whitehorse’s Dave Coen), OAA, Andrew Nolan (Intensive Care), and Seth Manchester (Machines With Magnets).
Eye Flys brings together the minds of four musicians known for their work in some of the most extreme, blistering bands today. The quartet was initially started by Full of Hell guitarist Spencer Hazard and former Backslider drummer Patrick Forrest as an outlet to play aggressive music with equal intensity that would contrast the breakneck speeds of their other projects. After asking Backslider bassist Jake Smith to join on guitar and vocals and Triac’s Kevin Bernsten on bass, Eye Flys’ potential for crafting impossibly heavy songs was solidified. Eye Flys’ debut Context was written and recorded just a few short months from the band’s inception, drawing on each members’ considerable experience and driven by the excitement of playing in uncharted territory. This is an album of commanding, lean noise rock absolutely brimming with vitriol.
The direct, raw energy Eye Flys’ music is simultaneously menacing and intoxicating. Drawing immediate comparisons to bands like Unsane, Cherubs, and The Melvins (where they take their name), the quartet’s bludgeoning sound is underpinned by a razor sharp edge. Smith’s vicious lyrics are paralleled by his unrelenting barks with passages like the opening of “Weaponize” literally spat through grinding teeth. Their taut, muscular riffing and pummeling drums lay atop a foundation of deceptively intricate arrangements. Amidst the barrages are layers of subtle melody and textural noise that heighten the album’s contrasting dynamics. Where “Crushing of the Human Spirit” plows ahead with massive thuds, “The Triumph of Hagbard Celine” winds with serpentine phrases and jagged rhythms.
Context is an album about both internal and external perception. From the opening track of the record, Smith poses the question “What the fuck makes you so sure?,” challenging the listener to reflect on their self-assurances. “Dosed,” the album’s most uptempo track, serves as a potent metaphor for the way one’s point of view can shift slowly or in an instant. Smith drew inspiration from the novel Illuminatus!, weaving a layer of tongue-in-cheek apocalyptic discordianism into his fierce snarls. Album closer “Fuckface” takes laser-focus at toxic masculinity with a punishing deluge of howls and concrete-thick hits aimed at men who’s harmful true natures are unveiled, as well as expelling those feelings in oneself.
Eye Flys’ Context stands as a testament to its members’ abilities to produce music that is as ferocious as it is addictive. In just 6 short songs, Eye Flys not only prove their place among their peers, but stand out as a force of sheer, immovable power.
Lightning Bolt play with abandon that is unmatched and remarkably undiluted since the duo’s formation 25 years ago. They are often called one of the loudest rock outfits in existence, both on record and on (or famously, off) the stage. Brian Gibson creates sounds that are unexpected and remarkably varied with his virtuosic bass playing and his inventive approach to the instrument, centered around melody rather than rhythm. The dizzying fury of Brian Chippendale’s drums twist from primal patterns into disorienting break beats as his distorted, looped, and echoing vocals weave more melody into the mayhem.
Amidst the fray there has always been shreds of a pop song discernible in the eye of every Lightning Bolt song. For their seventh full length, Sonic Citadel, Gibson and Chippendale have done the daring, stripping away some of the distortion mask to reveal the naked pop forms as never before. Their relentless energy, inventiveness and, unrestrained joy still drive their songs, pulling you in and compelling you to bounce and yes, even sing along.
Emptyset, the duo of James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas, are tireless innovators at the vanguard of electronic music. Over the course of the last decade the duo have consistently applied new and inventive compositional tools to create art that is both unique and poignant. Blossoms was developed using cutting edge machine-learning technology, with the duo feeding a neural network sounds from their previous releases, as well as 10 hours of improvised recordings of raw materials, and processing that data into entirely new sounds. The result is music unlike any heard before, a true distortion between electronic and organic sounds manifesting as emergent non-human musicality.
Blossoms is a work built on hybrids and mutations, combining complexly synthesized audio with reverbs derived from impulses taken in architectural sites Emptyset have worked in previously. The assembled compositions are emblematic of Emptyset’s dedication to forward-looking sound and examine patterns of emergence and augmentation, fragmentation and resilience, and the convolution of biotic and abiotic agency.
Wonderful Rainbow is released for the first time ever with the full artwork as initially conceived by Lightning Bolt in 2003. Front and back artwork familiar to fans is still there but now in a full wrap. This wrap has full-color artwork on the inside, originally only available as a small insert. The LP jacket itself is never before released artwork created at the time of the album. All artwork has been created by Brian Chippendale.
Oui marks the triumphant return of The Sea and Cake after a three-year absence which saw the members of the band pursue a variety of interests; musical, professional and personal. The line up of the band remains Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, Eric Claridge and John McEntire. The Sea and Cake formed in 1994 out of the ashes of Shrimp Boat (Sam and Eric), and The Cocktails (Archer). John was a friend of the three and had just begun playing with Mosquito, which would later rename itself Tortoise. In fall of that year the band released their self- titled debut record and followed it with three more for a total of four in four years, each gaining in popularity and critical acclaim. In 1997 after months of touring in support of their most successful record The Fawn, the band decided to take some time off to focus their energy in other places. Eric went to work on his paintings with a series of shows in Chicago and a bi-monthly insert in the Chicago Reader. Archer recorded his second solo record, toured and continued to concentrate on his Sof’ Boy merchandise and comics (published by Fantagraphics). John played with Tortoise, built a studio (SOMA) and engineered the Stereolab record among many others. Sam painted for his debut solo show in Chicago and a July 2000 show at Clementine in Chelsea, released his debut solo record and toured extensively. When things began to quiet down in late 1999, the four began setting aside the time to record what would become their finest record yet, Oui. “Surprisingly the long lay off didn’t seem to pose any ill effects, somehow the distant perspective supplied a new necessary focus”, says Prekop. There were no impediments as far as reconvening and songwriting were concerned. Sam added that “I think (the fact that) Archer and I continued to work together during The Sea and Cake’s down time was crucial. So when we started writing it wasn’t like we were starting over, we were just working in a new context.”
Where their previous album Hopes of Failure centered around hopelessness, Throes turns its focus toward wrath. Barr, who composed and arranged the bulk of the music, sees the album as a direct continuation and a response to the damage and exhaustion caused by the shifts in the political and environmental landscape. Koester penned the much of the album’s biting, politically-charged lyrics, aiming vicious barks at fascists and profiteers alike. Despite being Aseethe’s newest member, Koester’s contributions came naturally, having grown up in the same Iowan DIY community the band has been integral to for over a decade. Aseethe embraces that sense of community and resistance which Koester bolsters by lyrically capturing the unease of living in “fly over” territory and its wintery desolation.
Throes was recorded at Steve Albini’s Chicago studio Electrical Audio by Shane Hochstetler (Jon Mueller, Northless). Aseethe drew from their expertise in utilizing noise and drones to develop a sonic world uniquely their own, dually aesthetic and foreboding. Distant cymbal swells and feedback loops on “To Victory” mirror the endlessly open landscape of their home. The instrumental “Suffocating Burden” makes use of processed feedback and panning drones made from both heavily effected guitar and amplified gong suspended between speakers. Barr drew inspiration from his recent solo work live-scoring films, relying on instinct as a compositional tool to interplay with the rigid structures throughout.
Aseethe remains one of the most distinctive and relentless forces in heavy music operating today. Through their ability to constantly evolve and incorporate new sounds and disparate influences into their music, they stand at the vanguard of forward thinking bands like labelmates The Body and SUMAC. Throes is Aseethe at their most daring and focused, building monuments of anguish while thrusting into the void.
Thrill Jockey Records is pleased to announce Plastic Anniversary, the new album by Baltimore-based electronic duo Matmos. Pushing off from the restricted palette of their last album, the critically acclaimed Ultimate Care II, which was composed entirely from the sound of a washing machine, Plastic Anniversary is also derived from a single sound source: plastic.
At once hyper-familiar in its omnipresence and deeply inhuman in its measured-in-centuries longevity and endurance, plastic supplies, surrounds and scares. Seemingly negligible, plastic is always ready to hand but also always somewhat suspect, casting toxic shadows onto the everyday. True to form, the band have assembled a promiscuous array of examples of this sturdy-yet-ersatz family of materials: Bakelite dominos, Styrofoam coolers, polyethylene waste containers, PVC panpipes, pinpricks of bubble wrap, silicone gel breast implants and synthetic human fat.
If side one is playful and poppy, side two is sharper and darker in its implications, and features more live drumming than any other Matmos album. Things kick off with “Thermoplastic Riot Shield” a single-object study built entirely out of the sound of a police riot shield being stroked, rubbed and struck. The resulting sounds are processed into a tense assemblage of harsh noise, deep dub basslines and jarring cuts of silence. On a squeaky loop straight out of a Jacques Tati film, “The Singing Tube” draws out the pinging resonance of a ten foot long PVC pipe played entirely with plastic toilet brushes, and hits a flanged overtone effect not unlike the string compositions of Arnold Dreyblatt. Bristling with whistles and noisemakers and plastic-gloved handclaps, “Collapse of the Fourth Kingdom” bolts a percussive showcase for the high school marching band playing the signature patterns of drumline and Baltimore club onto jarring edits of LEGO bricks clicking into place and weird smears of processed plastic horns. Since plastic was described by its first developers as a “fourth kingdom” beyond animal, vegetable, and mineral, this track heralds the eventual collapse of the political economy that birthed the oceans of garbage that now choke our world. Thinking the dystopian consequences of plastic through to their post-human conclusion, the final track, “Plastisphere” sounds like a field recording of insects and birds and pattering rain and ocean waves, but is in fact a work of digital sleight of hand: every single sound on this track has been artificially constructed out of samples of bubble wrap, Velcro, plastic bags and straws and, tellingly, an emergency stretcher. After a volatile and vibrant suite of poppy plastic electronics, Plastic Anniversary ends in an acknowledgement of the planetary price yet to be paid.
SUMAC – guitarist and vocalist Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, Mamiffer, ISIS), drummer Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion), and bassist Brian Cook (Russian Circles, Botch) – delivers their third full length album, Love in Shadow, a brutalizing dive into love and all its raw emotions. The album was recorded live in a single room at Robert Lang Studios (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) in Washington by Kurt Ballou (Converge), who later mixed the album at his own studio GodCity.
Jack Rose is remembered and reveared for his innovation in contemporary guitar music. His influence had only just begun to take flight before his unexpected death in December of 2009, right before the release of what sadly was to be his final album, Luck in the Valley. Still, his music and influence, much like his person, bold, hearty, and rooted in traditional American music continues to be a source of reference for guitarists and musicians carrying traditional American music into modern times.
Marisa Anderson is a wanderer at heart, creatively as curious as she is proficient. On Cloud Corner, Anderson’s music is boundless. Rooted in American folk music, her pieces are inspired by 20th century classical and West African guitar techniques. The results are revelatory. Written and recorded in a period of political and personal upheaval, the album was created as a refuge, an ode to stillness in an era of ceaseless noise. Marisa Anderson’s Cloud Corner is an album of remarkably intimate beauty, tranquility in times of turmoil.
The solo guitar work of Marisa Anderson owes its familiar tones to her awareness of history and her mastering of her instrument, yet it is completely new. Marisa Anderson filters musical history through her own personal experiences, as a traveler in life and in music. A curious and gifted player, Anderson has spent over 35 years of playing forging her singular, instantly recognizable voice. Marisa Anderson’s Cloud Corner is hopeful in the face of any discord, a resplendent diverse sound sanctuary that shines, a mirror of the horizon it looks towards.
Wooden Shjips, long-time leaders of the contemporary psychedelic movement, expand their sound with V, available on Limited Blue Colored Vinyl with full color artworked inner sleeve and free download card.
On their fifth album the quartet of Ripley Johnson (Moon Duo), Omar Ahsanuddin, Dusty Jermier, and Nash Whalen augment their already rich sound with laid back, classic summer songs. Inspired by the tumult of the modern world, and the desire to offer a contrasting vision of peace, the band has created a record that lters their trademark hypnotic grooves through an optimistic lens, resulting in music that is bright and vital. Each song shimmers with a distinctly Wooden Shjips sound, a relaxed summer vibe. This was a conscious choice, an atmospheric goal that in uenced nearly every detail: the tones, the delay types and reverbs used, as well as the synthesizer elements that color the songs. The band’s members collectively share a love of classic rock from the Velvet Underground to Neil Young, as well as more overt love of the San Francisco scene of the 60’s. This commonality in their formative musical years binds them even as they live in different cities. Wooden Shjips has with V. created the most concise, laid back songs of their career. Their music is a balm of sorts, a respite from the insanity that, through its regenerative abilities, empowers continued, calm resistance. A reminder of the simple power of peace and beauty, V. is brimming with optimism and a peaceful energy, aptly timed for release at the height of spring.
The Sea And Cake return to their roots, crafting refreshingly intimate pop songs, elegantly arranged on their first new album in six years. The Sea And Cake deliver a refreshingly intimate collection of elegantly arranged, singular pop songs. For over two decades and 11 albums, The Sea And Cake have honed a sound all their own, comprised of delicate, intertwining guitar patterns, syncopated rhythms, and airy melodies. Masters of subtlety, their compositions have continually evolved – through minute alterations in texture, unusual approaches to lyrics, and creative production choices. Any Day is testament to The Sea And Cake’s artistry, song craft, and utterly unique sound. The results are intimate songs that speak to the searcher in all of us. Through shifting instrumentation and sonic exploration, the band invites you into a world that is both familiar and unexpected.
Absolutely no one makes music like The Body. On their follow up to 2016’s acclaimed No One Deserves Happiness, the Portland duo of Lee Buford and Chip King conjure the sublime from the unexpected by turning their compositional approach on its head. The Body continue to defy the constraints of what it means to be a “heavy” band, seamlessly combining diverse influences for an utterly singular sound. The album’s contributors include Kristin Hayter (Lingua Ignota), Michael Berdan (Uniform), and Ben Eberle (Sandworm), as well as frequent collaborator Chrissy Wolpert (Assembly of Light Choir). Production was handled by Machines With Magnets (Lightning Bolt, Battles).The Body transcend musical boundaries. Their ambitious creativity shapes their bleak worldview into propulsive, affecting, and even danceable music often drenched in distortion.
The new album Radical Connector includes nine new tracks which took Jan and Andi three years to write and produce in their famous St. Martin studio in Düsseldorf. Long-time musical collaborator Dodo Nkishi was part of the recording team once again, and the album fe atures both his drumming and his strangely recorded vocals most prominently in the aptly named “Wipe This Sound”. Never has Mouse On Mars written a more danceable track with such irresistible drive. Expect to see dance floors from Tokyo to Santiago de Chile full to overflowing. Sonig recording artist Niobe also participated in the recording her wonderfully aloof vocals (“the end is near…”) adorn two tracks.
With Radical Connector Mouse On Mars is taking an important step forward both in terms of musical vision and international standing. Their Touring will focus for the first time on North America. Making appearances not only with Drummer Dodo, but as both a duo and as DJ’s. When you show up remember to bring your dance shoes and your thinking cap! If in 1994 Mouse On Mars sounded like 2004, then Radical Connector is a portent of what the year 2014 will bring. Enjoy!
The Body and Full of Hell are both unique and influential forces in heavy music. Both artists welcome challenges and eschew self-promotion. Each artist seems driven to take risks and push boundaries of what is considered heavy. A clear example being that on recent tours The Body have performed without any live guitar or drums. Both artists enjoy the creative growth and music and good times that come out of collaborations. Each has collaborated often with other unique but like-minded musicians such as Thou, The Haxan Cloak, Krieg, Merzbow, The Bug and the list goes on. Despite their obvious differences in songwriting, The Body and Full of Hell are unified by their shared aesthetic, catharsis through the manipulation of emotions transformed by visceral noise and fueled by an inescapable sense of dread. They have returned to collaborate again not because of their commonalities but because of their differences and what those differences yield in performance. With Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light, The Body & Full Of Hell have integrated a love for electronic noisescapes with abrasive, precise sonic assaults into a sound unlike anything either has produced before.
OOIOO’s seminal album Gold & Green is finally widely released on vinyl for the first time*! Presented as a deluxe 2xLP in a gatefold jacket with spot metallic ink and full color inner sleeves featuring glorious drawings (How many OOIOOs can you spot?!) Both LPs are pressed on virgin vinyl and a free download coupon is included.
On No One Deserves Happiness, The Body’s Chip King and Lee Buford set out to make “the grossest pop album of all time.” The album themes of despair and isolation are delivered by the unlikely pairing of the Body’s signature heaviness and 80s dance tracks. The Body can emote pain like no other band, and their ability to move between the often strict confines of the metal world and the electronic music sphere is on full display throughout No One Deserves Happiness, an album that eludes categorization. More then any of their genre-defying peers, The Body does it without softening their disparate influences towards a middle ground, but instead through a beautiful combining of extremes. No One Deserves Happiness is an album that defies definition and expectations, standing utterly alone.
Buford and King are outliers at their core, observing the world as if apart from it. They strive for music without a category. They embody many contrasts. They are open and playful as well as thoughtful and disciplined. Live, they deliver punishing volume and scale with their spare duo set up, expanding their sound through a complex set of effects on both guitar and drums. For records, they approach things entirely differently and expand their group in the studio to include Seth Manchester and Keith Souza from Machines with Magnets (their long-time studio), as well as Chrissy Wolpert of The Assembly of Light Choir. The list of instruments used on No One Deserves Happiness is an unexpected collection that includes 808 drum machine, a cello and a trombone. The band employs instruments in their unprocessed state for the simple beauty of the sound, and then in equal measure push them to their most extreme (for example, the sounds at the end of “The Fall and the Guilt” are created by a guitar and a cello). Because they create an entirely singular sound, The Body is in high demand for collaborations with artists across the musical spectrum, from The Bug to Full of Hell to The Haxan Cloak and beyond. They build albums that are as lush and dense as a rainforest and as unforgiving.
Building an album as layered as No One Deserves Happiness is a complex process. Striving for harshness, dynamics and detail all at once poses some technical challenges: It requires that tracks are built up, deconstructed, processed and re-built. Manchester explains that as an engineering team for The Body, Machines with Magnets must always consider the mix — they never go in and record the basics and then mix it. In order to get the immersive experience that is No One Deserves Happiness, they must experiment with and constantly re-evaluate every construct. While they do employ an 808 on this album, they use pre-fabricated samples very sparingly. To get the contrast they are looking for, they experiment with a huge variety of their own sound samples and varying levels of distortion. Reprocessing a few samples of a track can often result in a remix to retain the balance and dynamics they are looking for.
Delicate, ethereal vocals, courtesy of Wolpert and Maralie Armstrong (who wrote and sings the lyrics for “Adamah” and contributes vocals at the end of “Shelter Is Illusory”) sharply juxtapose King’s distinctive, hellish cries. Album opener “Wanderings” is the perfect introduction to No One Deserves Happiness: Wolpert’s angelic calls to “go it alone” build until utter despair takes over, her voice drowned in guitar distortion, and as it is swallowed, we hear the desperate cries of Chip King. The Body then completely switches approaches, starting again with bare drums, but this time more processed and more industrial. The march is quickly augmented by electronics and King’s distant shrieks — this continues to build to the apex of Wolpert’s vocals rising from the oppressiveness and elevating it with her melodies. The contrasting composition and employment of textures on these two songs highlight the Body’s songwriting and arrangement skills. Each track is at once melodic and bleak, employing many of the same instruments but never in the same manner.
The band’s musical tastes are broad, and that is reflected in the wide variety of inspirations they cite for the tracks on No One Deserves Happiness. “Two Snakes” started with a bass line that was inspired by Beyoncé and went through several mutations as the band remixed and reprocessed core elements, vocal melodies morphing into distorted keys, all carried by the foundational bass line. The core duo of The Body has clear ideas of what they want to achieve, but they are completely open to ideas on the execution. This collaborative, open approach allows for a lot of creative input into the building blocks or sounds of a composition that The Body then meticulously arranges. In the same manner as the music, the lyrics are inspired by a variety of literary reference points, from the spoken word piece on “Prescience,” written by Édouard Levé, to the Joan Didion quote inscribed in the album artwork. The Didion passage succinctly sums up an overriding theme of loss and isolation: “A single person is missing for you, and the whole world is empty.”
In the past two years alone, The Body has joined forces with the metal bands Thou, Sandworm, and Krieg, recorded with Wrekmeister Harmonies, and collaborated with electronic producer The Haxan Cloak. They are currently working on a collaboration with The Bug and grindcore band Full of Hell. They have toured with Neurosis (playing large venues) and toured with Sandworm (playing house shows). This unexpected list of collaborators and unpredictable touring approach further emphasizes the demand for the band’s distinctive sound and their open, explorative nature.