Hella / Need New Body Rivoli, Toronto ON - June 8, 2004

Hella / Need New Body Rivoli, Toronto ON - June 8, 2004
If you think something is scary, you should usually do it. Take Need New Body, for example - a mildly terrifying quintet of probable hedonists who yap like a bunch of rabid animals and decorate their stage like a mini-festival of the obscure. If you're hesitant at first, it's likely only because their spill of raw humanity is so rare. Amongst a banjo, a keyboard and a bicycle wheel decked out in streamers, the cavemen wailed and danced through a set of slightly incoherent but definitely fun psychopathic psychedelic circus music, with front-man Jeff Bradbury pausing to spruce up his mic stand and general environment with select shoes from members of the audience. Have you ever seen so many pairs of Chucks? Hella were a slightly different story. The near-automatic duo is even more amazing in person. Guitarist Spenser Seim and super-athlete drummer Zach Hill brought a human aspect to their otherwise near-robotic sound. Long improvisations that broke into the relief of familiar melodies whipped fans into a frozen frenzy, with all attention glued to the pair. Hill is astounding - a still torso simply there to hold his limbs, which must possess their own minds, his succinct flailing morphing into patterns of sound, his eyes rolling into his head as if in ecstasy or a trance. Seim's no slouch either - his guitar work is mesmerising and he's honed a unique way of playing with barely a strum or pick. The two play off each other remarkably, relating signals in yell code or stopping briefly to discuss their next attack. An excellent match with two very different expressions of intensity complementing each other exquisitely.