Words: James Frostick
Band image: Holly Buckley
Drawing in and extrapolating on the sounds of its 80s-era Mancunian forebears, Naarm-based post-punk quintet Body Maintenance is following up a demo and live tape with a bristling self-titled 12″ EP. The band’s severe and surly sound is encapsulated on lead single ‘Sheets’, an austere assault of anxious writhe and pitiless pace.
I always gravitate towards groups that mine the rich vein of post-punk. An early love affair with bands like The Chameleons and The Comsat Angels helped solidify my adoration for music from the gloomy yet urgent end of the sonic spectrum, an infatuation that has continued with my fondness for local groups like Orion, Den, The No, Negative Gears, and the like. Add Body Maintenance to that list, too – the five-piece unit is stepping forward this month with an offering that so perfectly aligns with my personal tastes that it’s just about impossible to ignore.
The group, which also features members of The Faculty, Alien Nosejob and Exhaust World, have a 12″ EP in the chamber and is ready to fire before the month is out. The six-track release (which will drop via Unwound Records) is loaded with prickly goth-laced post-punk numbers – blistering and barbed bruisers, plaintive plodders, slick stingers. Ahead of the full release, Body Maintenance has peeled off a track for us to savour ahead of time. ‘Sheets’ is a particularly striking number – a tightly coiled spiral of spring-loaded steel that boasts the kind of glossy chorus pedal tone that slithers cleanly around the palpitating low end and percussive snap. Deep booming vocals (punctuated at key junctures by urgent harmonies) hold ground steadfastly as the instrumentation kicks up black silt, building in frenzy until it burns itself out in a choppy flurry. It’s thrilling and invigorating – the perfect mix of gloom and bluster. In order words, it’s the shit I like. Really like.
Body Maintenance’s 12″ EP will be released digitally and on vinyl on Friday February 26 via Unwound Records. You can place a pre-order below.