Once-Providence-based duo The Body have been stirring up an unholy racket for nearly two decades now, releasing boldly genre-bending records, collaborating with numerous luminaries of the extreme music underground and playing notoriously ear-splitting shows. Thursday night at a sweltering Great Scott played into the band’s grand tradition.
They were operating as a trio of electronics and drum machine stations last time I caught them (circa 2016’s No One Deserves Happiness), but the utilitarian guitar-drums lineup of founders Chip King and Lee Buford was back in action on this evening. In classic form, the pair pummeled the room with the gargantuan force of Buford’s trudging percussion and King’s otherworldly shrieks cutting through the roar of his amps. Between the heat and a week of bad sleep catching up to me, I was sporting a splitting headache for most of the set, but is there really a more appropriate state in which to experience The Body?
Thursday’s cast of supporting acts rounded this one out as a bill to remember. Abstract post-rock Southern Lord signees Big|Brave (who I’ve talked up in a previous Great Scott appearance) seem to get better and more riveting with the passing months. Worcester’s Mountain Man dished out a short but jarring set of caustic noise rock. And Lingua Ignota – the project of currently-Rhode-Island-based Kristin Hayter – transfixed at the intersection of industrial noise and operatic performance. Hayter set up on the floor with a keyboard and a set of strewn lights in a staging she’d eventually, startlingly, dismantle as the music reached its unnerving pitch. Hayter is a featured player on The Body’s new LP I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer, but an on-stage collaboration wasn’t in the cards on a night where both acts committed to establishing their own separate, singular intensity.
See photos from the whole night below.