Above: Show Me The Body, shot exclusively for NME ahead of their debut UK tour
New York City is a disgusting, roach-infested hellhole which punishes and pushes its millions of inhabitants to the very limit. At least, that’s the New York that Show Me The Body seem to inhabit.
Theirs is a brand of music that’s entirely at odds with the idea of conformity, both in a literal sense – they play shows “anywhere [that] there’s a bunch of kids and no rent-a-cop bouncer,” according to frontman Julian Cashwan Pratt (above, centre) – and in their actual sound.
Musically, it shouldn’t work: a heady mix of hardcore influences, hip hop values and, er, banjos intertwine to create songs that feel euphoric, scary and utterly forward-thinking. If pressed, I’d have to put the band in the same bracket as early Beastie Boys and PiL, when both of those bands were still figuring out exactly who they were.
For Julian, 21, who grew up going to shows at ABC No Rio on the Lower East Side (“It’s the last real hardcore venue in Manhattan. Extreme bands from all over the country play there. Kids from all over the city roll through.”) and cites poets Emily Dickinson and Audre Lorde as influences (Lorde’s Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power is “essential reading”), summing up Show Me The Body is a hard task. “Defining, or labelling something is the same as making it a commodity. We are in the business of building our own,” he says. “Show Me The Body feels like a gang that doesn’t care about money, drugs or turf, just the truth.”
They’re the most interesting new band America has thrown up in years, and this week they hit the UK for their debut tour here. You’d be a fool to miss out.
SHOW ME THE BODY: THE DETAILS
For Fans Of
King Krule, Beastie Boys
‘One Train’ is a thrilling concoction of everything that makes SMTB brilliant – harsh lyrics, and even harsher music
London Ali B’s Safehouse (February 08), London DIY Space For London (9), London Electrowerkz (18), Manchester The White Hotel (20), Leeds Temple Of Boom (21)
The SMTB EP is on iTunes now
Julian says the band don’t know a great deal about the UK music scene, but cites The Bug, Flow Dan, Skepta and Black Mack as current faves.