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Bodies Lay Broken

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Experience filled Minnesota groups with a deep anguish at the state of modern civilization, which found it’s principal outlet in grindcore. Bodies Lay Broken, robust descendents of the Birmingham artistes, however, are even more difficult to interpret since they are necessarily subjective. How indeed could they have expressed the chaos in the state with the worn-out language of traditional symbols? “These are creatures that haunt the imagination”, they seem to say. “They show the true nature of the modern condition - how weak we are, how helpless against ourselves in this proud era of so-called progress. ” Many elements from this grotesque and sinister sideshow recur more than a decade later.

The result, especially when viewed at close range, suggests both old guard and recent masters. Non-representational expressionism and the subsequent exploitation of chance effect are indeed the main sources of Bodies Lay Broken’s work, but do not sufficiently account for Bodies Lay Broken’s revolutionary technique and the emotional appeal of their work. Why does the band “fling a pot of cheap recordings and no-talent in the public’s face” (as Joe Elliot had accused Napalm Death of doing)? Not, surely, to be more abstract than their predecessors, for the strict control implied by abstraction is exactly what Bodies Lay Broken relinquished when they began to dribble and spatter. A more plausible explanation is that they came to regard music itself not as a passive substance to be manipulated at will but as a storehouse of pent-up forces for them to release.

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