The Body is a two-piece sludge/noise/metal band that formed in Providence, Rhode Island. Comprised of guitarist and vocalist Chip King, and drummer/programmer Lee Buford. The body has worked with many additional artists, spanning from Full of Hell, Thou, Krieg, and a plethora of different genre breaking artists that are able to constantly change the mold of The Body’s sound.
No One Deserves Happiness is the band’s attempt to make “The grossest pop album of all time.” The Body while having many different labels, pop music is most certainly not one that jumps into a listener’s head as the screaming vocals, muddy background instrumentation, and the very layered and busy production aspect of things keeps No One Deserves Happiness feeling like everything but a pop album. The Body achieves the sound of a metallic noise duo more than anything, continuing to shatter the Earth with every bass note, every drum smack, and every blood-curdling screech that lurks around every corner.
“Wanderings” is the start up track, the prime example of how The Body can combine both beauty and disgust into one sound. The angelic vocals from Chrissy Wolpert allow for the song to have a gentle build up with a quiet drum beat and dramatic trombone, before launching into the punishing noise from cymbals crashing and King’s outrageous background vocals that almost overpower the rest of the track. King’s vocals are unique in the aspect of taking a high-pitched approach where they constantly sound like he is in immense pain when singing. “Wanderings” then ends with the Wolpert’s angelic vocals being swallowed by the rest of The Body’s dominant levels, before returning to the quiet drum beat that began the track in the same way.
The following track, “Shelter Is Illusory” uses mighty tom drum hits to begin the groundwork. Then as King’s vocals begin to reign in the background, the track starts to use dramatic guitar strums that build up alongside the drums. This creates a synthetic and authentic feel to the track. It uses a wide-variety of instruments to keep the complex sound, but simple style fresh and unique to any other release of the time. No One Deserves Happiness’s unique sound can be a result of this “synthetic and authentic sound.”
The track “For You” is instantly a noise-ridden mess of atmospheric, horror-movie like sounds that uses static to convey this scrambled confusion within the song. There are distant screams heard, most likely from King as he only adds to this confusion and scrambled nature with the sound of his voice seemingly coming from nowhere. Buford also seems to come out of thin air with these rapid snare hits that are so hidden within the scrambling static that it is almost difficult to even hear them being played. “For You” then jumps right into the next track with no hesitation, a leap into the great unknown that is “Hallow / Hollow.”
“Hallow / Hollow” relies strictly on the doom-metal sound that The Body had first started with on their previous releases. The Body uses pounding percussion that feels almost crushing under the weight when paired with loud synth chords that flood the track as well. The track almost seems to use a piano but it is unclear as the surrounding instruments are so loud that it is difficult to hear anything besides the very abrasive percussion. King’s vocals also make an appearance and in this track they match well with the riotous sounds of the rest of the instruments. The lyrics “Meaning nothing, Whispering, shrieking into a void,” are synonymous with King’s style of singing. The loud, shrieks are an acquired taste, King’s vocals will not comply with everyone’s ear, but it will resonate and be remembered. “Hallow / Hollow” ends with a chorus chanting before succumbing to the darkness that No One Deserves Happiness dwells on.
“Two Snakes” follows and is one of the quicker paced tracks on No One Deserves Happiness. It uses an 808 bass line, a choir, growling screeches from King, and pounding percussion from Buford that punishes the ears of the listener. The rising synths that create this claustrophobic feel to the track felt pivotal in the way “Two Snakes” plays out, it feels constricting and near-dominant in that sense. “Two Snakes” sounds like a constant fire that rages from the second it starts to the last seconds of its length, the bass line resonates through the entire track only being added onto and using more instrumentation to further layer the track.
“Adamah” is an example of that constant layering and changing dynamic of sound coming from The Body. “Adamah” begins with a crunching percussion and rattling synth build up before launching into using more background vocals that use the lyrics “Let it rain, Let it rain, Let it Rain, On this scorched Earth,” is actually one of the more beautiful sections of No One Deserves Happiness. It relates back to Wolpert’s vocals on “Wanderings,” beautiful sounding, but ultimately daunting in the end.
“Starving Deserter” then follows and sounds closer to “Hallow / Hollow” with the doom-metal style and the rigorous weight attached to the drums and vocals. This track also uses a clock tower bell that rings continuously in the song’s second half, almost leading the track down a grim descent into a bottomless pit. It adds another layer into the already morose style from The Body, then paired with both King’s and a choir’s vocals, it is a horrendous pair matched only in Hell. “Starving Deserter” then follows the choir and Buford into a rising static synth lead, nearly being swallowed up by the noise.
The next track, “The Fall and the Guilt” completely changes up the tone of No One Deserves Happiness. It is still a depressing style of track, but it instead focuses on an intimidating, but pleasing piano and vocal combination. It feels as though there is a beauty behind all of the suffering that The Body displays. While immensely terrifying at most points, The Body and No One Deserves Happiness is able to portray a symbol of light at certain moments. While these moments are short, and the negative significantly outweighs the positive, it is still a wonderful productive masterpiece that displays both misery, and pleasure.
The following, “Prescience” goes back to the path of misery and an impending doom. The track uses the drums, and a shadowy guitar that echoes slowly and creates the atmosphere, pointing in a downfall. There is a sample used, where a reading of the book Suicide is collected. The reading explains
“Your taste for literature did not come from your father, who read little, but from your mother, who taught it. You wondered how, begins so different, they could have formed a union; but you noted that in you there was a mixture of the violence of the one and the gentleness of the other. Your father exerted his violence on others. Your mother was sympathetic to the suffering of others. One day you directed the violence you had inherited toward yourself. You dished it out like your father and you took it like your mother” (Edouard Lev – Suicide).
Painting the immensely bleak picture, using suicide as a subject matter, and ending the track with the static is just another method behind the madness of The Body.
The final track, “The Myth Arc,” uses more pounding metallic percussion, a guitar that seemingly echoes on forever, and Wolpert’s vocals stating “I will find you.” The angelic singing, paired with the atmospheric destruction is something that only The Body could make sound perfect. The Body uses two entirely different tones of music, blends them together and creates scenes with their sound. The track relies heavily on Wolpert’s vocals and the crushing static that follows throughout most of No One Deserves Happiness before finally coming to an inaudible deathly silence.