The Body at Geno's, May 12

Music seen
By NICHOLAS SCHROEDER  |  May 18, 2011

Rumors that Providence's two-piece doom band the Body would be returning to town began as a whisper campaign in late April. With whom? No one knew. Flyers were not hung. The bar's monthly calendar had not yet been posted. Googling "The Body Portland" didn't help any, yielding only collision-repair quotes and tattoo services. If the Body were coming, it would be to little fanfare indeed.

Somehow, plenty of people got the message. As the Body set up, Geno's was typically packed, a darklit bar with darkclad figures. The crowd seemed unusually engaged, hopeful; perhaps not yet fully saturated with beer. Of course, they had a right to be excited. The Body are hardly just another metal band. They play slow, but not slow enough for slowness to be their thing. They're plenty heavy, but — hailing from a punk patrimony rather than a metal one — are unconcerned with technical chops or solos. Their records emphasize their distinction from both genres, incorporating 13-member choirs, brass arrangements, and syncopated samples of Tuvan throat singing.

Live at Geno's, that slick production aesthetic was whittled down to a simple core. The Body are merely two men. On stage, their shirts seemed shellacked to their chests by a week's worth of sweat. The textured cacophony on their records would now, it appeared, be attempted via a single guitar and a steady beat. There was no choir, no trickery, no posturing.

As the Body rang their opening notes, somebody farted, which felt oddly appropriate. During the pummel of "A Curse," the front line of tall skinny boys began dancing, in sync, an evolved sort of headbanging that begins at the waist. Though their recorded aesthetic may suggest otherwise, the Body are not a theatrical band. They played their songs without announcement, each a percussion-led mid-tempo dirge welding the sonic twins of guitar and vocals.

Metal will always be home to corpse paint, devil locks, and explosions. There will always be inhumanly fast tempos, glacially slow riffs, and transcendental feedback. Distractions galore. In contrast, the Body conjure a humanity much more primal and banal. They play with a repetitious, undifferentiated ugliness, reminding us that the other stuff, while fun, is just privileged fantasy like anything else. If the Rapture truly arrives, that sort of honesty will be appreciated.

Related: Loverless at Geno's, December 18, Taboo + Ancestral Diet at the Apohadion, March 8, By Blood Alone soar with Thunderbirds, Joe Walsh goes solo, and more, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Music, concerts, Geno's,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   UNMASKING AFRICAN RELICS  |  February 26, 2014
    An evocative, transportive exhibit of icons, artifacts, and spirit masks from some of the many, many cultures and “kingdoms” of West Africa, what is now Cameroon and Nigeria.
  •   THE TEQUILA ODYSSEY  |  February 20, 2014
    Each of the city’s drinking establishments has its roots in some primordial myth.
  •   TRUE EFFIN' ARTISTRY  |  February 20, 2014
    Mousa is the new recording alias of Vince Nez, a/k/a Aleric Nez, the name by which he released a nimble, unpredictable record in late 2010.
  •   THE STATE OF SEA SALT  |  February 12, 2014
    A surfeit of salt manufacturers have cropped up in the state over the last few years.
  •   NOT YOUR AUNTIE'S DOOM  |  February 06, 2014
    Sure, it may be Latin for “forest of trees,” but Sylvia more readily conjures some wiseacre aunt, not a burly group of veteran musicians trying to carve new notches in well-trod forms of heavy metal.

 See all articles by: NICHOLAS SCHROEDER