When The Body and Thou stopped at Cuisine en Locale in Somerville last year in support of their collaborative Released from Love record, the two bands’ single, monstrous set was a thing of terrifying beauty. They hit the audience like a ton of rocks, crushing the life out of us in a fashion brutal enough to recall the fate of Salem’s own Giles Correy. Little did those in attendance realize the majority of that material was still a work in progress. It has since been refined, hardened, crystallized to its very essence and released by Thrill Jockey as You, Whom I Have Always Hated.
While some of this material was already released as an EP, the remainder was recorded in The Body’s former hometown of Providence at the mighty Machines With Magnets. Both the new and the old truly meld the best elements of the Portland– and New Orleans–based groups’ sounds, be they shared similarities or stylistic differences. This careful consideration of where the one band ends and the other begins is readily apparent in both the original compositions and their two surprising cover choices: a harrowing take on Vic Chestnutt’s “Coward” and a mad, demoniac stomping atop the mangled skeleton of Nine Inch Nails’ classic “Terrible Lie,” in which the original’s thumping arpeggiated synths are replaced by mind-melting peals of sheer feedback.
The alienated screams of Thou’s Bryan Funck and the unrestrained “man on fire” wail of The Body’s Chip King work together in unrelenting disharmony, anchoring this monstrous combination of low-end guitar riffage and high-intensity feedback squalls. While the songs from the earlier EP lean towards something more traditionally “rock,” the newer material on the record brings a mechanistic, almost Godflesh-influenced industrial tinge to the proceedings. It makes for an interesting listen where you can actually hear the collaboration’s development over time. With rumors of another tour together coming in the future, I hope this isn’t the last we’ll hear from this bleak but satisfying meeting of the minds.
You, Whom I Have Always Hated is available now from Thrill Jockey.