Free noise rock duo Body/Head are Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth, Free Kitten) and Bill Nace (X.O.4, Vampire Belt, Ceylon Mange). They bring together numerous oxymoronic terms: dark/light, black/white, emotion/analysis. Hence, the name of the band 'Body/Head'. Not necessarily oxymoronic, but you get the idea. The Switch is their second full-length studio album, following previous records for Matador and live albums via Deste Foundation and Feeding Tube Records.
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Do what you want, guys, but why do Sonic Youth have to always do what they want? Since their eternal hiatus, the core members have seemingly been trying to make themselves self-appointed prefects of the noise world, producing endless, rock-deconstructing improvisations in a competition to see who can be the best at formlessness. It’s all been done over and over since the dawn of avant-garde, but their rudimental takes on guitar nonetheless exist, and we must listen to them. At least Body/Head are actually good.
Comprised of Kim Gordon and X.O.4.’s Bill Nace, this band take guitars and sorta let them simmer, offering a drone metal that sorta glitches out, cresting in weird, structureless waves. It’s light on the ears but subtly dramatic, the drones moving with a kind of patient randomness that makes you wonder when they might next switch off. Things start to take hold on “You Don’t Need”, with a rhythmic jitter and a mumbled poem from Gordon, before burning out early, crumbling into resigned disarray.
What Gordon and Nace capture on ‘The Switch’ is a mood of persisting uncertainty, using drone not as meditation but ruse. The guitars, made bland and greyscale, mumble their way into a sort of psychological sabotage. It may not be the weirdest, loudest or most out there attempt at abstracting guitar rock, but it’s a satisfyingly breathless listen. I'm letting Sonic Youth off this time.
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