The Body might best be known for their harsh and harrowing sound, but there’s also a bizarre, upbeat energy to their music. Where many of their songs employ droning noise to establish a grim atmosphere, other songs go off in a hyperactive, almost danceable manner. The Body have been open about their interest in all kinds of music, and in taking influence from styles outside their characteristic sludge, the duo can create something ugly, yet profound. Half of that magic is thanks to drummer/percussionist Lee Buford, who has joined forces with MSC’s Zac Jones for a new project, Manslaughter 777.
The duo’s debut album, World Vision Perfect Harmony, is a work of chaotic bliss. The Body and MSC have worked together in the past—most recently on 2020’s I Don’t Ever Want To Be Alone—and Buford and Jones make for a thrilling meeting of creative minds. Like Buford’s work, Jones has used MSC to craft soundscapes of noise and gloomy atmosphere. Manslaughter 777 takes a different approach compared to each artist’s respective act, while still drawing connective threads back toward each.
The duo’s toolkit includes kinetic drumbeats, flashy electronic effects, and somber tones to provide energetic and eerie electronic music. This is present from the get-go with “No Man Curse.” A seductive bass pumps consistently through metallic scratches and beats. This formula gives a frenzied energy, all while maintaining an aura of serenity throughout. With the smoothest transition, “Jump and Spread” amplifies the drumbeat, the tempo moving faster and creating this dance-like quality.
Where the first few tracks on the record employ elements of jungle, the rest of the record expands into new forms. The manic energy is still present, but it becomes warped. The style and rush become darker, leading the listener into territory both haunting and appealing. One such example is that of “I Can Not Tell You How I Feel,” which drops the fast tempo and frenetic playfulness for something more melancholy, guided by Auto-Tuned vocals. A consistent, reverberating distortion rides through the track, a melodic ring appearing here and there, each element forming a sense of unease. “Mag Tech” has a minimal air to its presentation, starting with only a steady bass pounce and eventually evolving into an unsettling, industrial-driven rhythm.
The album’s closer, “Do You Know Who Loves You,” is an oddly serene composition. It begins with abstract beats and random uses of noise, but these elements slowly morph into a cohesive flow, weird and stunning all at once. As creative partners, Buford and Jones craft a record where each track makes for an engaging experience. Underlining the danceable energy of each song, there lies something ominous throughout World Vision Perfect Harmony. Where the duo’s compositions lure the listener in with an upbeat approach, the record begins to slowly mutate into something much more unnerving. Playfulness gets subdued by tension, exciting vibes infected by discomfort. Just be careful about getting lost in the rhythm—it might swallow you whole.
Label: Thrill Jockey
A graduate of Columbia College Chicago's Creative Writing Program, Michael Pementel is a published music journalist, specializing in metal and its numerous subgenres. Along with his work for Treble and Bloody Disgusting, he has also written for Consequence of Sound, Metal Injection, Dread Central, Electronic Gaming Monthly and the Funimation blog.