The Body Manifests Horror At Saint Vitus with Sore Dream and Midwife 5/21/2022 (Live Report)
I once had a friend tell me how haunted he was by The Body. Another friend put an LP on while he was stoned out of his mind and broke the seal on the most evil soundscape he ever heard. When he went to sleep that night, he dreamed he was trapped in rigor mortis while his friend stood over him, twitching and making the same noises as the LP.
While The Body tours to promote their latest album, I've Seen All I Need to See, they've brought along some artists they've collaborated with in the past to create a soundscape full of broken glass, crying, and deep-fried samples. The show took place at St. Vitus in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, against a backdrop of three saints pulling Jesus out of the ground, except the body of Jesus is a giant tuber. Three huge cabinets took up so much space on stage that the drum set had to be re-positioned to stage left to make space for them, and all three bands used every single decibel.
One of these artists, Sore Dream, is the industrial project from the musicians in Full of Hell, based out of Ocean Hill, Maryland. Sore Dream is only a year old, but Spencer Hazard told me they were in Brooklyn just last month to promote the split Full of Hell did with The Body.
In their grindcore band, they incorporate a more traditional compositional structure, with instruments and a rhythm section. Sore Dream is much more ambient, however, evoking a sense of place with samples and synthesized instrumentation. It fits well with the brightly colored, jagged art done by Bo Orr for their LPs and merch. Bo Orr is a tattoo artist at Only You Tattoo in Atlanta, Georgia, and his prints combine the neon colors of his neoclassical tattoos with the jagged, asymmetrical shapes that have been cropping up in punk and metal art for the past few years. The weird, bright objects in his landscape are made up of or dissolve into objects from nature, like birds and flowers.
"We didn't want it to look like a normal industrial album." Spencer Hazard told me.
The next act was Midwife, which was one woman on stage bathed in blue light singing with noise-cancellation headphones on. Her choruses were slow, soothing chants that transitioned into a guitar bridge heavy with interference to create a soft, fuzzy effect.
Midwife is Madeleine Johnston's project, a self-taught musician out of Rhode Island who has been playing music for 15 years. All of the backing tracks she played along with on stage are recordings of herself on bass, piano and guitar. Midwife has been active since 2015 and has played in NYC many times.
The Body jumped right into playing when she got off stage, with Lee Buford on drums and Chip King rolling right into their set while a tech managed the levels on a soundboard behind them. Given how much noise comes out of them, it makes sense that he would need to be up close to do it.
The Body is cursed, and The Body is timeless. The sounds they make are clearly a modern invention, but being at a The Body show is like being on a haunted galleon during a storm while the damned scream.
It's always a good sign when the reverb is in my nasal cavity. King and Buford have good on-stage chemistry, shrugging and laughing at each other to communicate song transitions. King dropped a chord and threw back his head to laugh, as comfortable on stage as he would be completely alone.
Below, find some (cell-phone-captured) photos from the hazy proceedings.