Body Hound / Wharf Chambers, Leeds | 5th of June

Body Hound / Wharf Chambers, Leeds | 5th of June

With a set riddled in unnamed new material showcased live for the first time, Body Hound’s performance in Leeds’ Wharf Chambers almost feels like a brutal trial run – yet one that still left enough of a mark on witnesses to resonate.

Sparsely populated by students clad in vintage outfits, the math rock group’s chosen venue seems rough and ready for whatever sort of mayhem to unfold. For local support band Thank, they fit right in.

Unleashing a perverse mismatch of crude sounds which could easily soundtrack an indie horror film,  the singer shuffles around the room like a paranoid schizophrenic hell bent on delivering his lyrics with an extra dose of whispered murmurs and screams of the word ‘fuck’. As the noise rock band threaten to tear the venue’s fragile foundations down, most visitors quickly flock to invest the 50p for a pair of ear plugs.

Bristolian trio Chiyoda Ku meanwhile seem to have their heads somewhat more screwed on their shoulders, allowing more space for their compositions to breathe and mellowing things down in the process – if not perhaps with a touch of sombreness. The band’s preference of loud/quiet dynamics in their songs however is only a slight teaser of what Body Hound are about to deliver.

Through their web of brutal riffs and sporadic melodies, it’s almost impossible to decipher Body Hound’s set in the conundrum of nameless material; the only chance card offered at making any distinctions are the band’s brief “here’s an old song/here’s a new song” introductions.

Whilst revelling in its unfamiliarity, Body Hound’s new material is still enough to spur fans into a frantic frenzy thanks to some funkier grooves which subtly etch themselves into the mix. Even so, all rare song appearances from the band’s 2014 EP Rhombus also receive a few whoops from the room which the band seem especially grateful for.

If there’s any leadership in this vocal-less band then it’s found in guitarist Calvin Rhodes. Unlike his cartoonish partner in crime Joseph Nicholson, he hardly breaks a sweat as he pulls off some of the more ridiculously complicated hooks in a state of permanent composure.

Both Rhodes and Nicholson bounce off each other seamlessly in the process, sharing looks of compliment and encouragement as they nit-pick their way through each piece of the set. The constant testing and feedback of the musician’s abilities almost converts the whole performance into a live self- assessment, revealing Body Hound’s touch of modesty and DIY sensibility.

In this fashion Body Hound seem like a band in constant battle to find a sense of satisfaction in their sound. But it’s this internal competition which only pushes the musician’s further into more twisted and wonderful territories with huger benefits. With a respectful fan following that’s gradually ever-increasing its numbers, Body Hound are one of those bands who are easily more appreciated in the live setting than on record. To witness their meticulous craft work behind the finished product is a must.

 

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