Living Body – Body is Working

Posted by vibrations on 22-01-17

It is a bit of a cliché to say that there’s something for everyone, but here there really is, though expect the musical equivalent of candied bacon and scrambled egg ice cream – a mix of the familiar and the unexpected. Opening track ‘Declaration of Independence’ is just that, a huge nebula of sounds that singles down to Jeff’s uncertain vocals that are slowly joined by timid harmonies growing in confidence to deliver the line ‘I won’t vote for you’ before being swamped by a tsunami of post-rock drone, an audio equivalent of the voice of reason being crushed by the sound of goodness knows what. Then in ‘Choose’ we are thrown into a rising-falling pixie-esque indie pop chug with overtones of Mountain Goats and an underscoring of brass – West Yorkshire meets West Coast.

Kate adds vocal variety on a number of tracks, ‘I Recollect’ and ‘Last Few True’, the first being a chirpy, folksy track that also oozes charm and is festooned with melancholy in a way Radiohead used to be, while the second’s the slow, ethereal beauty harks to a bucolic Cocteau Twins.

Still not going for it? Ah, I see you’re a post-rock man. How about ‘Trail Mix Part2’? It has a lot of shimmer and coruscating… very pleasant, but if you fancy something a bit more pretty there’s ‘Heirloom’, almost a thing of Vessels past with its melodic nods to Mogwai and Camberwick Green. What about sheer musical whimsy? ‘Slow Burner’ is all build, no climax, and ‘Penumbra’ is a back tracked guitar, leading to the final triumphant track that is ‘Closer’… or closer if you prefer, an upbeat open strummed indie anthem, built around the line ‘you used to live a full life/now you’re living a lie and its breaking your heart,’ rising through surprising key shifts before cutting off abruptly.

‘Body is Working’ is definitely an impressive piece of work, with multiple personalities and an almost sampler feel to it, as if Jeff is playing around with what he likes rather than what is expected, which is a good thing as if you can’t please yourself, who can you please. I find this pleasing too, and look forward to this body, in whatever form it chooses, to continue to work.

Rob Wright