Just Say Yes
Local Albums: March 2010 – Alex Body’s solo debut, Just Say Yes, is a glitchy, lo-fi epic consisting of condemnations of himself and humanity over digital and analog loops and faux pipe organ drones.
Just Say Yes takes some time to warm up, but by the third track, “Without a Friend to Even Call,” Body hits his stride. The album never shies away from slower pacing, but “Without a Friend to Even Call” is a dirge. Body’s pinched, faltering voice barely rises above the synth hum and the plod of his Casio-based beats until the heart-wrenching chorus. Body lays down an eerie, creaky harmony wailing “Let the world damn me/let me damn the world” for the rest of the song as whines and squeaks from his synthesizer envelope his voice and swallow it whole by the song’s end.
Body’s beats get considerably livelier on the “Sixteen Years.” The verses are structured over long, droning synth chords and whined laments, but for the chorus he unloads a kraut-rock rave-up. Body’s creepy, stuttered shouts of “Sixteen years ago” spill out over a frantic burst of percussion, which sounds like a dub rhythm on speed. It’s easily one of the weirdest and most delightful moments on the record then it fades into the monstrously demoralizing “Distorted Hallway.”
“Distorted Hallway” contains the album’s sunniest sentiment: “The human race/we’re so fucked./Everything we’ve done/doesn’t amount to much.” Body’s reverb-soaked analysis floats over a frenzy of phase-shifted synth swirls–like ghosts whirling around his head–and an ominous drone riding a stock beat off a cheap keyboard.
Just Say Yes can feel a bit monotonous thematically, but much of the overwhelming cynicism is delivered with Body’s tongue planted in cheek. Similarly, many of his drone-heavy compositions are highlighted by whimsical synth splashes and warm, funky workouts like the ones at the beginning of “Sixteen Years” and at the end of the album as “Discharge” fades out.