I’ve been meaning to cover Body Farm and Living Hell for quite some time but it has escaped me to the very tempo in which this band play. A part of an Ohio-based scene and simultaneously an even more powerful and greater US Hardcore revival, the band’s aggravated brand of Powerviolence-leaning Hardcore Punk has been nothing short of incendiary until this point in time. Now, fast and unambigiously highly combustive, Body Farm and Living Hell call. Shall we?
’20/20′ opens with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaking truths too often forgotten to distorted guitars and an ambling beat and a steady flexing of muscles. Track one opens an album indicative of its time. At 1:17 a tease of fast Hardcore kicks into gear, gazing at a Powerviolence frontier sonically whilst vocal urgency grounds itself in the former. ’20/20′ predominantly embodies the latter horizon, charging through its conviction before falling into a brilliantly contrasting Hardcore refrain hammering the point home before another burst of extreme Hardcore chaos, just because. Body Farm aren’t fucking around.
The band’s haunting and unhinged bass tone continues without a sweat into the lumbering tempo of ‘Riot?’. Body Farm indignantly stomp through track two predictably but with intent before catching you off guard with frenetic bursts of pace in equation to the very vigour of the track’s title and its respective definition. Body Farm aren’t singing about anything new in the best possible, vitriolic way. Patriarchial antiquation and the expectation on and of women’s bodies is slammed down with brutal anger as it depicts an equally brutal and forced existence. – ‘Just accept the abuse, like how you’ve been trained to’ – closes one of the strongest on Living Hell. ‘Ohian Solidarity’ then continues this more typical Hardcore sound but only in comparison to the band’s penchant for Powerviolence and Punk extremity. To be succinct, track four’s charged, rousing D-Beat is another highlight.
‘Death On Two Wheels’ employs the metallic tuning and overlay you were expecting to arrive but more confidently in a hybridised and almost blackened Crossover-Thrash onward to a groove-laden metallic thud, itself ahead of the album’s shortest. The 0:42 of ‘Greed’ crams more than enough into its short exposure of the ruling classes and those who do their dirty work, from NYHC-esque groove, warped Noise Rock and their usual aggravated swagger. It is also here, that, again, both Body Farm and Living Hell mark themselves as riotous and writhing reactions to their recent surroundings.
‘Double Think’ continues the thematic nods to Orwell’s 1984 from the band’s 2020 debut cut with further warped nuances on said release in the manner of Living Hell.
Body Farm close with their eponymous 1:26 of the 10:30 of Living Hell-proper. Throughout this latest, Body Farm have not limited themselves to one version of “fast”. Rather they divide such uptempo and voracious velocity into clever variants of itself, contrasting it with a variety of other “v-words” and stylistic hallmarks from the Hardcore hall of hard cores. Jest aside, though quite the eviscerating display, Body Farm have pulled from a wide range and subsequently, pulled such inward to contort it all to their needs.
My advice? Listen to this album when you need to get things done or vent your existential rage into as pure a catharsis as Living Hell itself.
Body Farm and Living Hell was released via Blind Rage Records, Dead Tank Records and …So This Is Progress? which is the band’s own label and is out now digitally and on vinyl. A US cassette pressing was also released via Dune Altar Records, with the UK tape pressing via Serial Bowl Records. Find the band below!