Record of the Week: SBSM: Leave Your Body 7"
SBSM: Leave Your Body 7” (Thrilling Living)
Debut vinyl from this group out of Oakland who combine hardcore with harsh industrial and power electronics sounds. I feel like their music is something I’ve been looking for forever—hardcore punk comprised of sounds that are unsettling and alien rather than the familiar timbres of electric guitar, bass, and acoustic drums—but SBSM do it better than just about anyone I’ve ever heard. A big reason that this record is so powerful is because SBSM understand dynamics so well… these songs’ dramatic shifts in timbre and tempo are rooted in hardcore’s dramatic “thrash part / skank part” shifts, but the dynamics are subtler and more surprising, at times even resembling Celtic Frost’s disjointed songwriting style (while, of course, sounding absolutely nothing like Celtic Frost). It’s very rare for me to hear a record that is simultaneously so exciting and new-feeling yet instantly gratifying. Usually I feel like meat and potatoes hardcore is a guilty pleasure while “experimental” or noise music can feel too cold and intellectual, but SBSM really is the best of both worlds. At the risk of making SBSM seem like a collage of their influences (which they certainly are not), imagine the feeling of looseness / freedom from early Flipper combined with the dynamic songwriting / arrangement of Crossed Out and wrapped in the mechanical ferocity of prime-era SPK and you’ll have a pretty good idea of where SBSM are coming from. Without a doubt one of the freshest and most exciting records I’ve heard in a long time.
I should also note the packaging here, which is a black-on-black screen print with the inner sleeve and lyric insert bound to the cover with thread like a simple, handmade book. It’s a really beautiful package that feels perfectly suited to the music etched into the vinyl.