Monday, 24 November 2014

The Body/Thou - Released From Love 12"


Few people could believe it when The Body and Thou said they were collaborating.  Thou's last record Heathen was mightily good, but the thought of them not just sharing a split, let alone writing four songs together with The Body was too exciting. Well they did and it surfaced in April via Vinyl Rites.

The Body have been going since 1999 and could be considered veterans of the US sludge scene, while Thou have been hugely productive since their inception in 2005. Both bands played at this years Gilead Fest. They performed separately and together. Released From Love contains three original collaborations plus a cover of Coward by American folk singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt.

Tracklist:-

1. The Wheel Weaves As The Wheel Wills
2. Manifest Alchemy
3. In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer
4. Coward (Vic Chesnutt Cover)

The Body’s electronic infused sludge should be at odds with Thou’s more traditional doom approach, but this meeting of minds ends up making both bands sound even heavier (if possible). Opener, The Wheel Weaves As The Wheel Wills fills your ears with rumbling and sprawling bass, while the dual-low and high screams fill you with unease. So far, so very good.

Now while the opener was heavy, Manifest Alchemy that follows takes things a bit further. It’s more claustrophobic and slower, but shifts it’s weight when the electronics kick in, turning strangely minimalist at times. This is not a quiet Sunday evening listen by any means, but if you persevere it’ll leave grinning menacingly.

Their final original collaboration, In Meetings Hearts Bear Closer is the longest offering on Released From Love. Seeing both bands play this live must have been pretty amazing. It’s huge and even the eerie atmospherics don’t detract from the sheer heft that both bands present. The sprawling feedback that winds away to the songs conclusion, pretty much says all you need to know about the heaving mass of this record.

Their cover of Coward by Vic Chesnutt provides a warming embrace thanks to gentle acoustic guitar, that is until Chip King’s curdling howls enter the fray. Re-imagining a country song in this manner is bound to raise a few eyebrows, but neither band cares. This is their art and it’s for themselves. 

I’d go as far as to say that four songs are not enough here. Both The Body and Thou create a head-spinning cacophony of spell-binding noise. It’s this kind of progression and brevity that is rarely seen, but when it is, it blows normality out of the window. This EP may be short in the grand scheme, but is glorious when it’s here.

You can stream the opening song via Vinyl Rites on Soundcloud below:-





Physical copies of the 12" can be purchased here - http://www.vinylrites.bigcartel.com/product/thou-the-body-released-from-love-12

There is no digital version of this record, but then analogue is the way forward anyway.

Vinyl Rites Website - http://www.vinylrites.net
The Body Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/the-body
Thou Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thou

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