It’s been less than a month since the release of The Body’s ‘I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer’ and the Rhode Island duo are back again, this time for a collaborative release with electro punk pairing Uniform. Considering the abrasive nature of both bands’ music and The Body’s habit of pairing up with just about every act extreme music has to offer, an album between the two seemed inevitable. This release was prefixed by Uniform’s Michael Berdan lending his throaty howls to the closing track of ‘I Have Fought…’, ‘Sickly Heart of Sand’.
Taking its title from the lyrics of Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’, this album is very much an exploration of the depths of the human psyche and what those who are pushed to their limits are capable of. In typical The Body fashion each song title borrows its moniker from a pre-existing work of song, literature or film, for example ‘Come and See’ takes its name from the Elem Kimlov 1965 Soviet war drama and ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ is inspired by the 1962 mystery novel by Shirley Jackson. Like their namesakes each song is every bit as bleak as you would expect it to be, however, while ‘I Have Fought…’ was a slow burning misery dirge, ‘Mental Wounds…’ feels angrier, more hateful and is much more chaotic as a result.
Chip’s otherworldly shrieks coupled with Michael’s agitated, vitriol driven shouts make for a chilling vocal delivery, and when placed amongst the swirls of feedback, reverb and synth abuse create an incredibly tense experience. It’s like listening to The Prodigy’s earliest work played through a low frequency ham radio. Uniform and The Body are a well matched coupling – Uniform’s punk sound adds a faster and more aggressive tempo to The Body’s ordinarily slow and creeping approach, while The Body add a dimension to Uniform that is altogether much darker and more sinister. The resulting collaboration is one that is every bit as cathartic as it is manic – a much needed musical representation of screaming into the void.
(9/10 Angela Davey)