If you’ve missed sweating with strangers in cramped dive bars—and if there might always be a pang in your heart about the missed connection opportunities of 2020—here come New York City’s noisy hardcore trailblazers Show Me The Body with a new, three-track EP.
Fittingly enough considering recent, real-world circumstances, the EP—which is available now from Loma Vista Recordings—is called Survive. There’s less than 10 minutes of music on the release, and the songs feel like an apt distillation of the vibes that Show Me The Body generally work with.
Survive is an anxious and largely uncompromising demand for space, providing a musical reflection of a refusal to back up just because someone with privilege might feel uncomfortable about those from down below pushing through the haze. Although the textures across Survive vary, a relentless forward push is consistent.
As elsewhere, Show Me The Body work with unique tones, from the banjo that Julian Cashwan-Pratt plays like a guitar to the noisy but decidedly danceable synths that open “Rubberband,” the first song off Survive.
Across the moody release, Cashwan-Pratt’s venomous vocals amplify the music’s drive. He performs with a somewhat spoken word-oriented cadence that makes the music feel accessible, but he, like the instrumentals across Survive, sounds ragged, like the group is capturing the sounds of exhaustedly staggering across debris-strewn city streets.
Besides the in-your-face confrontation of their sound that calls back to classically energizing hardcore, there’s also some serious punk dynamism across this latest Show Me The Body effort. The title track, which closes the record, packs some of the most decidedly brisk performances on the release, shifting between galloping hardcore and gruelingly swaggering sidesteps.
The rhythmic swings feel dramatic, almost like the group have provided a sweeping cinematic vantage point of the lived-in grime that they’re exploring with their music.
“People On TV,” the record’s middle track, features noticeable restraint, but it’s still jarringly bellicose. On a similar note, among other highlights, “Rubberband” features a very heavy bass line that feels almost alone in the mix around its midpoint, and there’s a sense that Show Me The Body have really tied their organically proceeding tunes to disorienting travails within real-life experiences. The tension feels emotionally realistic.
The whole release, which features some real muck in the flourish-filled sound, feels like a shout, as though sounding off towards the sky and demanding an audience—but getting nothing. The tension continues through the end of Survive, but Show Me The Body have captured—as they’ve done elsewhere—cathartically resounding communal strength. It’s just great—this music feels inwardly energizing, and the energy lasts.
Purchase this album at this link.