Body/Head

The Switch

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

To record The Switch, Body/Head returned to Massachusetts' Sonelab Studios and reunited with producer Justin Pizzoferrato, the collaborator on their debut, Coming Apart. However, the evolution of Kim Gordon and Bill Nace's music since then is unmistakable. On their second album, they blend guitar, voice, and moods into a seamless union while honoring the dualities hinted at in Body/Head's name. By turns tender and formidable, dense and cavernous, The Switch joins seemingly contradictory forces in equally subtle and riveting ways. Heavy, undulating tones dominate, creating an uneasy yet electric mood that suggests transformation. Gordon's voice only coalesces into words occasionally, adding to the feeling emerging and evolving. When she sings "scream to the wind" on the gentle yet defiant album opener, "Last Time," it's echoed by deep drones and wailing feedback; when she repeats the title of "You Don't Need" over a fearsome roar, it feels like a continuation of the liberating rejection of Coming Apart's "Ain't Got No Life." As on No Waves, Nace and Gordon favor elongated interplay over climactic peaks, and the results are just as compelling. "In the Dark Room," an eerie study in abrasive textures and sounds reminiscent of a violin's wolf notes, primes listeners for "Change My Brain," a ghostly incantation of regret that makes its way to its mournful coda with shivery tones. By the time the confrontational fever dream "Reverse Hard" brings things to a close, The Switch serves as a potent reminder that experimental music isn't always cerebral. Transfixing, haunting, and lingering, this is some of Body/Head's most emotionally eloquent music.

blue highlight denotes track pick