Need New Body - "s/t"
(Cenotaph Audio 2001, CT006)
From Aural Innovations #16 (June 2001)
Assembled by former members of Bent Leg Fatima, Need New Body play a difficult to describe variety of music, from Can styled Krautrock, to Sun Ra big band and free jazz, and on to quirky avant-rock that recalls Rock In Opposition (RIO) bands like Henry Cow and Aksak Maboul. Searching around the web for information on Bent Leg Fatima to give myself some background, I found an Mp3 ("Mouse/Lone Gunner") that sounds like Syd Barrett pop-psych, Olivia Tremor Control, and a bit of the Doors.
Need New Body is quite a ways off from the Bent Leg Fatima track I heard. Their self-titled debut is a collection of 22 tracks, many being snippets of several seconds. Aural Innovations readers who remember our Bablicon reviews should also note that all the members of that band appear on Need New Body and the CD was produced by Bablicon's Blue Hawaii.
Among the more Krautrock and psychedelic influenced tunes is "C R Eyeball", which sounds like an old Can song. Intentional or not, the vocals are even in the classic Damo style. "Tittiepop" is an avant-jazz-psychedelic-Krautrock mixup. I don't know what to call it. It's got a Krautrocking jam sound, but there's some jazzy elements too and the organ gives it a bit of a psychedelic edge. Like Can gone over a cliff and playing all the way down to the jagged rocks below. A gorgeously crazed freakout tune. "Boba Fett" is similar to "Tittiepop", but less manic and not nearly as developed. "Witchipoo" includes Middle Eastern ragas against bouncy rhythms. Pretty freaky. And "Gamble On/Banji" is a killer song. Now this is my idea of pop music. Whimsical, catchy, toe-tapping, avant-pop at it's best.
On the more overtly free-jazz and avant-rock side is "Dirty Bitch", a punkish march of pounding bass, drums, and sax, with some freaky bleeps, voices, and other percussive sounds thrown in. Like a more crash-boom-bang version of Massacre. "20$ash" consists of experimental music on what sounds like prepared stringed instruments, piano, and percussion, plus spoken word monolog. Quirky avant-jazz. "Land Hobo/Monkey Dancer" is part Sun Ra big band, part RIO á la Aksak Maboul or Fred Frith circa Speechless and Gravity. There's also more of that organ that gives the music a groovy psychy sound. "Lrlmpi" is a mixture of free jazz and experimental rock. Like a strange fusion of Sun Ra, Coltrane, and Henry Cow. And "Death March Skull" is a sonic metallic free-jazz assault. I was really disappointed this wasn't developed beyond its 1 minute length. Lots of possibilities here.
In summary... well, I don't know how to summarize Need New Body. The album as a whole may be a little uneven, but for fans of the styles and analogies made in this review I'd say we've got a good fun set of music here that demolishes, expands upon, and gloms together a variety of influences into something a bit different. Hope to hear more from these guys.
For more information you can visit the Cenotaph Audio web site at: http://cenotaph.org/audio/.
Contact via snail mail at Cenotaph Audio; c/o John Fail; PO Box 81941; Pittsburgh, PA 15217.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz