“Lowkey?” Julian Cashwan Pratt, the lead singer of Show Me The Body (SMTB) has said, “Show Me The Body is for the freaks.”
If “really fucking loud” was a genre that’s what SMTB would be categorized under. You might call it punk, but punk doesn’t blast this low and hard. You might want to call it sludge metal, but metal doesn’t kick it this smooth. You might call it hardcore, but what hardcore band do you know that’s led by a banjo. A what? That’s right, this shit is led by the most furious, grimiest, nastiest, dirtiest, hardest, and hate-filled banjo you’ve ever heard. This is a banjo that has sold its soul to the demon Asag, the mountain fucker. The distorted feedback vibrating through the banjo’s steel snare head is one of the many distinguishing sounds of SMTB. There’s also a bass that sounds like it’s being ripped apart by its own weight and gravity. Dude uses a brass pick on the black hole. Alongside Julian’s grunting primal vocals that somehow fits between metal, punk, and rap, you’ve got one of the most unique sounding bands out there.
SMTB’s unique sound alone makes them worth listening to. But this shit is also backed by some intense ideals and intent. These songs are not about sunshine and lollipops. The three coffins, for each member of the band, spray painted on top of a cityscape of pure concrete on the album cover is symbolic of this. This band is like a grimier version of Rage Against the Machine. But, unlike Rage, this band’s screams and sonic hatred isn’t pointed at those in power.
“I don’t consider us political. I also don’t consider beating up Nazis political. I also don’t consider not standing for racism, sexism, or homophobia political. Those are my friends, so I stick up for those people. That’s not political at all—that’s human fucking nature.”
SMTB scream for the disenfranchised, the overlooked, and the forgotten. They stand for those that have fallen between the cracks of concrete and are lost in an ocean of dreary lumbering masses doggedly walking toward dead-end jobs. For a band so loud and angry, it’s amazing how optimistic this intent is. Don’t get me wrong, these lyrics aren’t about holding hands and sho-bop sho-bopping. The first track on this motherfucker was inspired by a trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and reading about the camp orchestras that were forced to play there, “They were, you know, Jews, prisoners of war, anyone who could play music well enough to accompany mass murder.” The song “Drought” is inspired by their trips through deserts and realizing the bleakness of being without water. But unlike the hoards of loud nihilistic bands that inspire loneliness, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, SMTB understands that the way to survive all this shit is by coming together. Because when a bunch of fuckups, freaks, and misfits come together to listen to a screaming banjo and bass going through entropy, this world feels less alone, shit becomes bearable, and you can finally find rest and relief in the waves of distortion.