The Body – I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer album review

Portland’s despondent duo The Body find a new mode of misery to share

The Body – I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer album cover
I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer

1. The Last Form Of Loving
2. Can Carry No Weight
3. Partly Alive
4. The West Has Failed
5. Nothing Stirs
6. Off Script
7. An Urn
8. Blessed, Alone
9. Sickly Heart Of Sand
10. Ten Times A Day, Every Day, A Stranger

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If there is one band in 2018 that defines what it means to make ‘heavy’ music, then that band is Portland-based duo The Body. Over the course of their near-15-year recording history, the duo of Chip King (guitars, vocals) and Lee Buford (drums, programming) have, at one point or another, accumulated everything that could conceivably, sonically, be called ‘heavy’, thrown it into a nihilistic spectrograph, and harnessed the resulting frequencies into a canon that ranges from mono-riff, caveman bludgeons to maudlin, choral accompanied flights of deafening ennui; from punishing, chopped-and-screwed techno barbs to the most horrifically despondent pop album you’ve ever heard. For I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer (the title itself is taken from Virginia Woolf’s suicide note), their seventh full-length, however, the duo have taken their approach to songcraft to hitherto unexplored extremes – creating as they have entirely new songs composed of samples culled from their previous output – and crafted their finest, and certainly most deeply, uncomfortably bleak record to date. As they say themselves: “We’re not angry, we’re just really sad.” And it shows. The opening procession of tracks, from the morose strings-and-static of The Last Form Of Loving to the tribal synth pummel of Partly Alive will sound familiar to those who picked up their collaborations with Full Of Hell, but it’s during The West Has Failed where things get weird; it’s a distorted, trip-hop banger, complete with vocal samples of dub-reggae MC Eek-A-Mouse! From there their warped cavalcade veers into mental-health ruining, torn-up percussive batterings – An Urn – and gnawing, noise-washed accompaniments to brilliant, and genuinely upsetting, spoken word stories of the unbearable pain of existence – closer Ten Times A Day, Every Day, A Stranger.