Body Type – Review of ‘Everything is dangerous but nothing is surprising’: a thrilling and controlled beginning
Body Type’s debut album should have been released two years ago, just behind two EPs that made the buzz. But of course the pandemic intervened, dividing the Sydney quartet by geography and scuttling tour plans. It’s a pretty common story, but there’s nothing common about this album: it’s a possessed statement of intent and one of the best Australian debut albums in recent memory.
Everything appealing about those early EPs is honed on “Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing’s Surprising,” from sudden tempo changes and conversational back-and-forth guitars to alternating lead vocals and biting, feminist lyrical commentary. waiting for you. A honed post-punk unit that often reflects UK ancestors like Electrelane and The Long Blondes more than specific Australian touchstones, Body Type balances thrilling abrasion and propulsion with layered melody and wobbly internal twists.
Body Type’s urgency on this record could be summed up in the fact that it was recorded in just eight days, with Party Dozen’s friend of spontaneity Jonathan Boulet at the helm. But it’s also the rotation of the cast of singers and songwriters that keeps the listener somewhat off balance from song to song, always anticipating a dramatic change of scene. Guitarists Sophie McComish and Annabel Blackman and bassist Georgia Wilkinson-Derums all contribute on that front, with drummer Cecil Coleman holding the fort with range and finesse.
Blackman opens the album with ‘A Line’, whose mellow bass line and deadpan repeated vocals evoke current British bands like Dry Cleaning and Wet Leg (although the song predates the latter’s debut). Inspired by a visualization technique designed to circumvent obsessive thinking, it reintroduces the undulating exchanges between the four players. Wilkinson-Derums’ most punky, “The Brood,” takes a surprisingly bouncy approach to his David Cronenberg-inspired take on a woman’s anger materializing as violence.
Equally acidic is McComish’s account of the music industry‘s condescending treatment of women in “The Charm.” Against Sleater-Kinney-worthy guitar back-and-forth, she turns unwelcome advice into a sardonic rebuttal, bringing out the chorus of the chorus”I have charm” with obvious pleasure.
From there, the album continues to hold the attention through the contrasts which are not lacking. It’s rare for such a relatively new band to have so much control over these drastic changes, often within a single song. Case in point: After a bright and raucous start, “Futurism” becomes eerily slow before accelerating to exit with a palpable head rush. Meanwhile, Blackman’s poem-based interlude, “Hot Plastic Punishment,” finds a frantic response in Wilkinson-Derums’ gritty anthem “Buoyancy,” evoking how naturally the band members’ creativity thrives. .
The record ends with another array of thorny approaches, including the more danceable but no less withering “Flight Path” about an encounter with someone who deemed #MeToo unfair to men. Named after Eve Babitz’s influential 1979 novel, “Sex & Rage” applies rowdy, Pavement-esque hooks to lyrics about appreciating life and art in the moment. It fits perfectly with the following “An Animal”, a darker entry that gradually builds omens via overlapping vocals from McComish and Wilkinson-Derums.
It’s the equal showcase of these distinctive vocalists and personalities within one band that makes this debut album so engaging. By maintaining an intuitive connection through so many deflections and feints, Body Type is indeed locked into a formidable connection.
- Release date: poisoned city
- Record company: May 20