Music Reviews
I’ve Seen All I Need To See

The Body I’ve Seen All I Need To See

(Thrill Jockey) Rating - 8/10

This record hurts.

When it comes to The Body, there’s always been a relative severity and towering presence about their output. Even 2016’s No One Deserves Happiness, which was The Body’s attempt at modifying their idiom to fit into a more electrified, “pop-styled” motif, sticks to an expected level of caustic power. Through multiple collaborations and stylistic experiments, The Body remains consistent. For the eight tracks that compose I’ve Seen All I Need To See, the latest from Lee Buford and Chip King, you'll understand what it is to hear songs rot, commingling sounds in real-time degradation.  

Again, this record hurts.

Now, for the level of ultra-fuck’d aural miasma that Buford and King dredge up, I’m typically awestruck by the enormity of The Body’s overall presentation. Referencing their collaborations with Thou specifically (not to mention their work with Full Of Hell and Uniform), 2014’s Released From Love and 2015’s You, Whom I Have Always Hated, my first encounter with those albums was met with disbelief at how well those mammoth projects had been captured as recordings. I could say the same for I’ve Seen All I Need To See except here The Body seemingly hit a cap. I imagine sound engineers frantically bringing their hands together in a “T” as Buford and King push their instruments farther and farther into amplified density as if to attempt to transcend some unknown sonic boundary or just break, well, everything. Opening this album, A Lament initially establishes some level of want for anti-clarity as the audio cuts in and out. “Grief wrongs us so…,” a sober voice speaks as bolts of jarring distortion float above his words, “… I stand and wait and cry for the absurd forgiveness. Not knowing why.” The vocals, indecipherable and distant, are shrieked as a haunting semblance of melody is worked into the track’s otherwise thundering crawl. 

From there, tracks like Tied Up And Locked In and Eschatological Imperative are nothing less than pure assault—the former track seeming to deteriorate as it continues, an abrupt and corrosive breaking down of every element. A Pain of Knowing is powered by an undulating drone and The City Is Shelled boasts a kick drum loud enough that it registers as static. I think I heard some piano toward its outro. Maybe it’s there. For They Are Coming, stuttering electro-beat elements punctuate sections of annihilative uproar, clattering splash cymbals, squealing vocals, and reverberating guitar sounds exploding in a relentless headache that leads into the relatively organized shuffle of The Handle The Blade. Samples of spoken dialogue are barely audible beneath the chugging onslaught. 

Finishing the album is Path Of Failure. Electro-pulsations and drones are upfront as restless drum work is eventually heard, with busy snare and cymbal fills hanging in the air just before the song shifts into a colossal stomp. It’s a suitable end to The Body's latest exercise in amplified bleakness, a blend of muck and misery whose existence almost requires a term stronger than “doom” to succinctly and conveniently explain it. To call The Body’s music “doom” is tantamount to calling the rapture an unexplained and coincidental spike in lengthy vacations. Pondering this, that term might be “hopelessness”. As impressive and extreme as it is, I recommend an evening of Lifetime movies and ice cream for dinner after you've given I’ve Seen All I Need To See a spin.