Review Summary: Noise rock redefined.
According to Dope Body their main purpose is to reclaim the glory of basement hardcore shows. It goes without saying then that Baltimore-based band's music is often defined as a pulverizing, ballsy and ferocious brand of noise rock, akin to such seminal outfits as The Jesus Lizard and McLusky. Despite the affinity with these acts, Dope Body reveal their distinct identity during the course of their genre-bending sophomore album. This is still crushing heavy rock completed by a lyrical spouting of clever wordplay and sarcastic observations. However, Natural History
turns the aesthetics of noise rock upside down weaving through various twists and turns with admirable aplomb.
The foursome expand their sonic assault by making math rock-inspired, angular dynamics an integral part of their frenzied style. Nearly every song is shrewdly built upon a stomping groove that provides a backdrop for highly dissonant guitar play. Dope Body have hardly lost their psychotic power and vigour in the process of experimenting with noise rock though. They've just directed their raw energy into a much more discordant, headier musical territory. As peculiar as they may be, the results are also surprisingly accessible, especially when the group adds some alternative rock features to the mix, like infectious chorus melody that propels “Powder” or melodic guitar leads that make “Weird Mirror” so endearing.
Actually, the major asset of Natural History
may be its constant tendency to venture into a multitude of styles. A pounding heaviness of sludgy opener “Shook” fades away only to expose the band's delirious rhythm section on playful “Road Dog” that seamlessly combines punk rock with boogie, while Caribbean-echoing “Twice the Life” may raise more than a few eyebrows with its phenomenal progressions. Elsewhere, “Out of My Mind” bears more than a passing resemblance to inventive drumming displayed by great experimental post-punk rockers of The Ex, even boasting a similar buzz-saw guitar tone.
With all these various influences wearing on their sleeve, Dope Body build up the reputation as a fairly eccentric rock band that's perfectly capable of swiftly integrating the myriad of genres and thus making their presentation outstanding amidst numerous contemporaries. Constantly bursting with creative energy, Natural History
makes the best of its boisterous, yet experimental variety of noise rock which should appeal to everyone with a keen interest in forward-thinking music.