Always There by Full Body

Album Cover
Always There
Full Body
Street Date: October 18, 2019


Full Body own their name. The Rochester, NY quartet play a robust breed of gangly rock music that lurches in the intersection between impatient slowcore, gnarled shoegaze, and noisy post-hardcore. The band introduced their dynamically sensitive appeal on their ambitious 2017 debut, What’s Good?, a record that threaded needly guitar licks through a thick fabric of bashing drums and distinctly scratchy vocals. Their highly anticipated follow-up, Always There, is a level up in every conceivable category. Jack Chaffer’s tornado-like drumming is even gustier; the guitar parts bounce excitedly between jerky math-rock and stormy bursts of shoegaze; the bass tones are absolutely crushing; and Dylan Vaisey’s pacific, drawn-out croons wrap around the erratic compositions, preventing Full Body from ever losing their own limbs amidst the chaos.

Artists like Elliott Smith, Pixies, and perhaps most of all, Pile, are fair reference points. The track “Hard Drive” ascends the way Pile’s beloved “Prom Song” does; a slow-burning bonfire that the band decides to toss fireworks (a piercing guitar lead) in during its final quarter, just to keep things dangerous. The loping opener “Small Voice” introduces Vaisey’s long-winded singing style, which he uses to carry out notes for surprisingly long stretches of time—in comparison to his bandmates, who shift constantly with a delightful impatience. “Bad Screen” features a scampering drum machine, some Blue Smiley-esque (psychedelic shoegaze) pedal effects, and a disorientingly chopped-up audio sample that makes for a fascinating palette cleanser.

But the sub-two-minute cut is followed by the standout “Sonic Bloom,” a cacophonous blend of everything they do best. As it ends, Vaisey is singing the words, “Everything’s okay,” with a relaxed, even relieved delivery as his vocals are getting sucked into the mix and the whole song is vacuuming up into a ringing synth outro. That brief moment of serene respite sees Vaisey reassuring both himself and his listeners that the engrossing mayhem that Full Body emit is right where he wants to be. You should join them.