If you’re after a little unadulterated angst to well and truly kickstart 2020 then Philadelphia noise-rockers Body Spray are here to freshen things up for you.
The quartet intriguingly describe their music as “sad cowboy songs that touch on the evils of neoliberalism” based on living in their hometown. And the heavy sound and raw intensity of the band has us well and truly hooked.
Like so many bands that we talk to, they formed out of the ashes of several former bands but actually met as rivals in a “mildly competitive bowling league” around 2015. And clearly the rivalry helped bring the guys together.
As they explain: “We started playing shows together in our respective groups soon after that and eventually consolidated into one unit after a random jam session where everything just kind of instantly clicked.
“Music is a really fun form of self-expression. It’s not exclusive and can just kind of be anything you want. There is a real thrill to the process of making something and putting it out there for the world.”
And what should we expect from their music? Well, in their words: “Body Spray sounds exactly like your favorite band so I recommend buying the record without listening to it first.”
And, for anyone who likes angsty vocals, filthy riffs and intense rhythm sections, they’re not too wide of the mark. Our first taste of this was Edgy, the opening track from last year’s debut album Music To Fall Down To.
It opens up with a lively bassy guitar riff over menacing vocals and bursts into a big angsty mass of noise. A funky little guitar riff takes over with distant sounding vocals, before dropping back into the lighter vocals and diving into another angsty chorus.
The mood shifts into a darker mass of booming guitars under drawn-out vocals, then a faster riff kicks in under shouty vocals that bring the track to a heavy ending. Check it out below:
A personal favourite track is Tongue Punisher, which opens up with lively drums supporting looping guitars. It drops into an opening verse of shouty vocals then a cool rolling riff, then a cool little bass filler gives way to another blast of darting guitar and intense vocals.
That feeds into a heavier section of powerful guitars over a chugging bass and driving drums, before a little piano ditty brings things to a close – and feeds into the low-tuned guitar riff that opens up next track Blood Nephew. Check it out below:
And on the topic of guitar riffs, we also love the sound of Still Swollen, which opens up with a funky bass riff and bursts of guitar then light guitar lead up to a big blast of dirty riffs. Check it out below:
As you should be able to tell, there’s plenty of delicious noise rock and big guitar riffs on Body Spray’s album. On it, they tell us: “It was a little cathartic to finally get it out there. We worked hard on the album and really spent some time on composition and structure.
“The end result was a record that exudes our personality. Like us, Music To Fall Down To can be loud and sort of obnoxious at times, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously and the fun we have when we’re together shines through on the songs. Overall, the reception has been really positive. For those who haven’t listened, it is like touring a garbage dump in a brand new air-conditioned pope-mobile.”
The band list a wide range of music among their inspirations, from the understandable likes of Nirvana, Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Jesus Lizard through to Sleep and Bruce Springsteen and… the Mortal Kombat theme tune.
And on what inspires their music, they tell us: “Music is a huge part of our lives. Our formative years are remembered as much for the things we listened to as the actual events in our lives and that association sticks.
“Writing music is also a tactile process with real immediacy. You can spend tons of time putting together densely layered compositions, but you can also just throw your hands on a guitar and come up with the gnarliest chord possible or plug into a distortion pedal and listen to screeching for an hour if that’s your jam.”
The band have been busy writing new material ready for this year and are on the lookout for gigs and festivals to play – so book them up!