Thunder Body: Giving it up when the wind blows: a lesson in Abundance
Rising out of Rochester, New York, Thunder Body is the one of the freshest, hottest new reggae bands to hit the scene in years! In 2010, members Matt O’Brian (lead vocals and drums,) and Rachel Orke (keyboards and melodica,) initiated Thunder Body after leaving Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. Thunder Body prevails as a fusion of uplifting sounds illuminated by analog roots reggae, soulful gospel, futuristic hip hop, circuit bent “science” and elegant melody neatly balanced along a thumping low-end bass. A credit to their musical scholarship and internal attunement, each one of these complex elements remains distinct, audible and can be accessed at any point with a simple adjustment of attention. Joining Matt and Rachel in this euphonic combination are Jeremiah Pacheco (Bass), Colonel Parmisan (“science”), Dennis Mariano (guitar and vocals) and Sam Snyder (overhand guitar).
Throughout 2010 Thunder Body cultivated a well of new material and began to build momentum by playing local weeklies and touring throughout the northeast. During this time the music progressed into a genre-defying sonic meditation described as International Body Music, as Medicine Music. In December, on their label Medicine Hi-Fi, they released their first EP, self-titled, “Thunder Body.” The musical experience expressed in the album and at their live shows is not limited to reggae fans. Rather, it connects, and directly, to the core of artists, musicians, truth seekers, and revolutionaries that gather at Thunder Body events. A perfect example of this generous expanse of citizenry occurred during “April Powers,” Medicine Hi-Fi’s 2011 celebration marking Thunder Body’s first anniversary. The festival assembled an explosive nine-band lineup to Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, New York. An eclectic mash up of genres, crossing boundaries and weaving through styles, April Powers, was exemplary of the gargantuan throw downs designed by Thunder Body to experience and expand the community body. With that local heart intact, Thunder Body travelled west on their second major tour ending with a privileged slot opening for The Wailers and the Poudre Valley Reggae Festival in Fort Collins, Colorado.
On December 23rd, 2011 Thunder Body released their highly anticipated first full length LP “Wind Blows Harder” through the label Medicine Hi-Fi. “Wind Blows Harder” was recorded in Syracuse, NY at More Sound Studios with master sound engineer Jason “Jocko” Randall. The creative chemistry between Jocko and Thunder Body reached full potential in these mid-summer sessions. Seemingly, as a witness to the genuineness of their relationship, and the sincerity embodied by their intent, thunderstorms actually manifested overhead during the recording. The meteorological verve was tangible and humbling; the synchronicity and vigor, not lost on the group, was assimilated into the LP – a testament to Jocko’s engineering capacity and the band’s skillful attention to the musical atmosphere currently present. There were many beneficiaries of the session’s generous buoyancy, as friends, family, and associate vagrants dined on homemade meals, artisan coffee, tea, beer and most importantly, friendship.
In addition to the classic live Thunder Body sound, upright piano, acoustic guitar, hand drums, percussion, and secret weapons of choice are spread throughout. Buttery rich tones and shimmering soundscapes reign supreme. Just as everything comes naturally with this band the album built itself organically. According to Matt O’Brian, "Each detail of our music is intended to be totally in focus. We strive to provide super-fat signals that a body can link up with and ride" (UpstateLive magazine). Increasingly devoted to their music and fans, inspired by the authentic reception of their work, Thunder Body will travel the Northeast and Colorado this winter to support their LP “Wind Blows Harder.” They have shared the stage with Third World, the Wailers, Ozomatli, John Brown’s Body, Rubblebucket and many others. It is with genuine gratitude and respect toward their lineage that Thunder Body presents, and confidently, the next wave in American Roots and Dub.
Matt O'Brian - Vocals, Drums
Rachel Orke - Fender Rhodes, Melodica, Clavinet
Brian Blatt - science
Jerimiah Pacheco - Bass
Dennis Mariano - Vocals, Guitar
Sam Snyder - Overhand Guitar
EP: THUNDER BODY (2010)
2. Get This Straight
3. Body Song
4. Whole Pocket
5. One Love
LP: Wind Blows Harder (2011)
1. Come What May
4. Full Circle
5. Wind Blows Harder
6. Work Very Hard
7. Don't Blink
9. Feel No Way
10. Must Have Been Easy
12. Tiger Crane
Thunder Body raises the bar with their new release “Wind Blows Harder”
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Thunder Body is holding nothing back folks! Their first full length album is not only good, it has b...Thunder Body is holding nothing back folks! Their first full length album is not only good, it has become my album of the year. All of this transpired in the last month of the year! Like in most year end polls, this tends to happen. Never fails after you have already written your list.
available on I-Tunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wind-blows-harder/id491596820
Wind Blows Harder was released on the band’s own Medicine Hi Fi label, and is one of the most ambitious sound scape oriented records that I heard in the last few years. The thing that makes it such an essential piece of music is the fact that it merges the live show experimentalism of the band with the highest capabilities possible within a studio. The effect is a successful attempt to inject the slow dubbed out and floating impact that the live show brings to the table. I am not sure if this was the plan. In either case, it is a picture perfect representation of what Thunder Body is right now! It is a portrait of a band that is at a creative level that most of their peers will find to be elite!
The opening track of Wind Blows Harder, Come What May, is so catchy and bouncy that it truly makes me want to break dance. It is easily one of my favorite tracks on this record, and possibly of the year. Thunder Body gets locked into such transcendent grooves, that the only way for the music to go is out. It is a formula of intuitiveness that seems to be the signature purpose on this track and many other greats here. Another example of this exuberance is captured on a song like Buffalo, where the band gets tight, locked in, and drifting in each passing second. It is an expansion of a sound you may know, but it’s originality is undeniable. Sonically, it is calming and yet trippy at the same time.
The album is also great from a lyrical standpoint. Some of these songs are fun, and some deliver a message that is spiritual in some way. Thunder Body is great in the examination of universal themes. On Ancestors, Matt O’Brien delivers the soulful homage to family lineage with the delivery of, “and we all want to be remembered some day.” Of course, it is about giving respect as he carries on with “ This one’s for ancestor’s spirits. We’re gonna build it up strong so they can hear it.” A lot of the record includes very intelligent observations on life and the human condition. The message is contagious, infectious, and inspirational in one positive swoop.
Thunder Body has IT! They offer a glowing orb of joy for you, and yet, it is hard to fully explain how they get you to that place. I try my best to put it into words, but it is truly difficult to give it the total justice that it deserves. So I will leave it at this, Wind Blows Harder, is a pivotal moment of time within the Rochester music scene. It essentially sets the bar for how high a band should aim to make themselves the best that they can be. Thunder Body has released a classic, and it I feel it will be recognized as such.
Thunder Body are go
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Rochester band Thunder Body serves up one of the deepest grooves you will ever encounter. Clearly a ...Rochester band Thunder Body serves up one of the deepest grooves you will ever encounter. Clearly a reggae band, Thunder Body takes funk's intensity and blends it with a casual soul aesthetic. It's spine-bending, deep, and joyous. And the band's protracted jams prolong the elation.
Chicago Jam Scene
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This was some of the most tripped-out reggae I've ever heard. It was so slow & gooey that it kind of...This was some of the most tripped-out reggae I've ever heard. It was so slow & gooey that it kind of felt like a 'chopped & screwed' version of classic island tunes… a true force of reggae…[Brian Blatt] brought the perfect amount of psychedelic weirdness and pushed this band into a realm that not many bands occupy.
Glide, Victory, Get on Board, One Source, Soon or Later, Devour, Push It, Buffalo Song, Weapon, Passion Song, Body Song, Get on Board, International Mother, Hole Pocket, Must Have Been Easy, Pollen Song...