The Body and Civilization: by John Touchton

Originally uploaded by jaxscene

Night did fall. And a penetrating breeze, whispering chilling rumors of evil and despair, did carry him steadfast, through vast plains of concrete and to his destination. The gates of Wambolt St. would steer our protagonist to his ruin… Sorry for the dark tone. Have I been reading too much Cormac McCarthy, you ask? Or could such grey narrative be due to the quality doses of doom, administered by Providence based duo, The Body and Jacksonville’s own, Civilization? Saturday night was borderline freezing, but such low temperature wasn’t going to curb the desires of those in need of a fix of iniquitous metal.

Warehouse 8b has been home to a collection of artists, while also providing a place for bands to practice and book shows. Saturday night, however, Unit 8b acted more as a giant refrigerator, in which to host a night of loud music played through very large amps. The first band that played was called Nuclear 2. As soon as they started they were almost finished. After an assault of blast beats and cymbal crashes that lasted only minutes, the masked drummer angrily removed his outer face and threw down his drumsticks, with frustration. This was my queue to get warm by the fire outside, but only embers remained, smoldering and emitting a thick smoke, reminiscent of countless fires before it.

Speaking of nostalgia, watching Civilization that evening reminded me of just how long they’ve been playing. Very few Jacksonville bands from five years ago are still together. Josh and Eric, however, still seem to enjoy damaging eardrums and their progress, after losing a bass player to the Portland, Oregon migration movement, shows that a two piece band can still deliver volumes of trembling guitar riffs and droning drum beats. Civilization’s set, that evening, tore through the cold and vibrated the sternums of stoned onlookers. Boasting their freshly pressed LPs and t-shirts, their merch table also presented a few zines from the main library’s new collection. According to Josh, they’ve just obtained the entire archive of Maximum Rock and Roll. Be sure to check out Civilization again on Jan. 16 at the 5 Points Theatre, as they provide an original soundtrack to classic cinema.

Gazed upon through the darkness, The Body slowly assembled and at the center of this frigid warehouse was the warmth of a small crowd of anticipators. Only a vague light subtly illuminated the room with a quiet shine. With the first chord, struck a heavy blow. The ground trembled and within measures everyone seemed to be swaying in unison, entranced by such bleak sound waves. Although this was my first chance to see The Body perform, I did managed to catch a hip-hop project called Lorna Doom a few years ago, which contained one member of The Body, as D.J. They were obviously new at what they were doing, but it was good. They even sampled a song by The Pixies, which must have been some kind of copyright infringement, as I don’t believe they could afford to pay for its use. But Saturday night, The Body delivered an onslaught of dark, heavy riffs, as if the soundtrack to hell was chopped and screwed. As they make their way back up the East Coast, I’m sure they’ll look back at their Jacksonville date as the warmest.

Overall, I believe the black cold of the night called for a helping of perilous metal such as this: loud and evil. They go together like cookies and milk.

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