The Body grabbed my attention right from the beginning of their existence, with their brutal take on electronic music very much resonating me. Uniform I discovered later, and rather like too. This is their second collaborative effort, the first being last year’s ‘Mental Wounds Not Healing’ which I thoroughly enjoyed. Collaborations between two artists are hit and miss, but thankfully in the case of these two, it hits, and it hits very hard.
I love wading through the sludgy barrage of beats and fuzz to discover the ghosts of pop songs.
An insidious and bristling power runs throughout the release as it stomps across the auditory senses. It is filthy, brutal, heavy yet groovy and I love it. I love wading through the sludgy barrage of beats and fuzz to discover the ghosts of pop songs. The type of sound captured here is how I imagine industrial music would sound today if it hadn’t been watered down for its metal or synth pop trajectories.
Taking no prisoners, the album starts with ‘Gallows In Heaven’, a slowly increasing barrage of extremely distorted gutter beats sparring with gabber-esque kicks and the type of punk noise vocal I love and indeed aspire to deliver myself. Pretty brutal even before the simmering wall bass/guitar/noise lands. The intensity doesn’t let up in any way on ‘Not Good Enough’, more distorted, well, everything. However, the phantoms of post punk lurk ready to pounce on the unsuspecting listener with glacial and monolithic slab like riffs. ‘Vacancy’ starts with a machine gun drum riff that could simply be ‘Land of Rape and Honey’ era Ministry before letting loose a undeniably catchy chord progression, that could be New Order played by Unsane, simply immense. Once again, I love the barked angst laden vocal, it contains so much more aggression that the hoarse growl that a lot of extreme music seems to entail. ‘Patron Saint of Regret’ reminds me of Controlled Bleeding’s various ‘Swallowing Scrap Metal’ tracks, though given some structure by the punk spoken (shouted) word and the huge hip hop styled beat that surprises about half way through.
Then respite is offered, to a degree, by the comparably melodic ‘Penance’, a trudging swampy yet once again catchy track. ‘All This Bleeding’, as its title suggests, is no walk in the park, in the best possible way. Again I sense post punk, this time digging its way through a pile of slashed bass amps and fuzz pedals with broken drum machines in each hand, truly a band (or two bands) after my heart. ‘Day of Atonement’ returns to a hip hop vibe, a lazy tempo juxtaposed with a sneering and heavily effected vocal and another immense riff, gathering such energy along the way that a shiver goes down my spine. ‘Waiting For The End Of The World’ is an exercise in noisy ambience and power electronics with a truly sinister sounding voice that sounds like it indeed has the potential to bring about the title’s event, but not quite yet, as one track remains. ‘Contempt’ is the track that calls the final curtain on the album, bombastic percussion and vitriolic sludge riffs coalesce in one of the mightiest moments on the album, to me echoing Ministry’s ‘The Fall’, perhaps some Pailhead too, all played by a pissed off Godflesh. Mighty indeed.
If you are still reading, it will come as no surprise to you that I rather love this album. It is exactly the type of noise I choose to listen to and it is done so well. When music sounds like it is made by machines with tortured souls and just about held together by melting wires then I am a happy man .I only restrain myself from delivering a five out of five verdict as I suspect another collaboration between these two may actually cause an earthquake.