The straight-up punx of Dope Body's last record, Lifer, ain't got nothing on this. Based on "Old Grey", Kunk is set to be a record of dissonant, tangly post-hardcore that sounds like Woody the Woodpecker pecking against the heads of the folks in Metz. This secretly avant-garde outfit know how to work their way back to a catchy tune, but this sounds like the band in gleeful disrepair.
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Post-hardcore dudes Dope Body come described as “a four-way conversation”, and that might just be the realest thing said about them: with last year’s ‘Lifer’, they released a pretty democratic punk record that swirled between discordance, melody and a little bit of pop-punk action. ‘Kunk’, which definitely isn’t a Kooks record, seems to add a fifth participant to the conversation, but it isn’t a person: rather, it’s an unshaped blob of noise and jazz and the avants. Whatever doesn’t fit, Dope Body have invited it to houseshare with them.
The record starts on a striking and fairly accessible moment, with riffs refusing in the catchy noise rock way, as with how Unwound or Fugazi used to open records -- thrilling and killing with their guitars. From there, it crumbles into a segue of clamouring contact noise and struggles its way back to a proper song through stuttering feedback gloop and half-operated drums. Otherwise, straightforward tunes like “Old Grey” wobble with effects that sound like Woody the Woodpecker fronting a hardcore band, while feedback squeals its way to an unrelated polyrhythm.
The elements are in Dope Body’s music; the way they swing between genres and blend some in without a lid on is wonderful, but hearing the little blasts of noise among what are otherwise structured songs creates a suffocating, close-contact sound very few other noise rock bands stop to think about. If White Suns started to write songs rather than just yell them from atop a rainstormed mountain, I believe 'Kunk' would be their blueprint.
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