The self-titled album from Methods Body is engaging and unpredictable, beginning in one place and ending where few might expect.
The LP is broken into two parts, “Quiet” and “Claimed Events,” each with its own sub-movements. Contrary to expectation, “Quiet” is anything but quiet. “They Didn’t Come Here” is instantly danceable, an explosion right out the gate. It sounds a lot like techno, until we begin to focus on the percussion. John Niekrasz is drumming up a storm, frantic yet measured, seemingly tireless, grooving without a break. Luke Wyland kicks in the keys with bass tones and butterfly trebles. The piece possesses a tribal feel, like a native dance, an impromptu expression of joy.
One rubs the eyes at the liner notes. There are only two of them? How can this be? The set sounds like the work of a full band. The ethnic vibes continue on the slightly calmer “Tell Us to Be,” which segues into the first movement like a mix tape. Without warning, warbling electronics jump the proceedings. For a time, it seems as if gamelan, percussion, bass and effects are all represented, until a sudden shift to spaceship lasers and an infusion of funk, followed by a New-Order-esque vibe. By now, the listener is sitting up; where is this record headed?
Methods Body underlines the sorrow of cancelled concerts. One would love to hear this album live, because it’s likely the performers would switch it up even more ~ and that the attendees would sway and dance. They get a break from the polyrhythms in “Now That We’re Quiet,” no surprise given the title, but by the end the percussion grows increasingly swift, leading to … prog? How in the world are there so many genres in here? Who left the door open? In the last 90 seconds of the first side, the duo returns to all-out dance, hitting nearly 140 bpm.
At this point, it’s safe to say that no one has the duo figured out. So when the second side starts with percussive abstraction, joined by seemingly random keys, we can only shake our heads and wait to see what comes next. When only eleven minutes remain on the album, Holland Andrews enters, chanting and exhaling onomatopoeia. The natives are dancing around the fire. If the clubs are closed, can we meet in the forest? The tone has turned psychedelic; but when Andrews exits, abstraction returns. We’ve come a long way from where we’ve started; it’s been an exciting journey! (Richard Allen)