Full Body Massage
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Full Body Massage

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Band Rock Funk

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"...Full Body Massage defied and embodied all genres at the same time with their funky, heavy, punk-metal, classic rock, weirdness." - Emergenza


What do you get when you combine elements of funk, hard rock, industrial, experimental, novelty, punk rock abd twisted renditions of children's songs? You get Full Body Massage, an amalgamation of sounds sometimes bordering insanity.

FBM took the stage at the Zeitgest Gallery in Cambridge, testing the waters of their new sound in front of a modest but supportive crowd. Bassist/vocalist John Hass stood stage center, sporting leather pants, no shirt, and elctrical tape over his nipples. If John was the meat, then the suit-clad James Wilkie and Jesus-impersonating Josh Gerowitz were the guitar-slinging buns of this sexy sandwich. The condiments were left to drummer Matt Johnson, who had on a wig and Viking hat to complete the visualy perplexing quartet. As if that wasn't enough of an eye-f***, the band was standing in front of a screen that displayed pulsating visuals throughout the night.

Their sound fit their quirky stage presence, as they took the audience on what was essentialy one long sonic journey. Sure, there were occasional breaks, but the set felt as though it should be ingested as a whole. Songs blurred into one another with sonic-boom transitions and with occasional breaks from the instrumental madness to feature John Hass' vocals. This was best shown after the group had been rocking out for a bit, and the group broke an "oom-pa" bass line to back up instrumental versions of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." Hass exhibited his flexibility busting out rock, two feel, and even some tapping on the bass before he put the thing down to treat the crowd to his rendition of "Bingo" (as in, "Bingo was his name-o"). Hass' voice sung with a roller-coasterquality, bending in and out of pitches and utilizing quirks you wouldn't normaly hear (think John Cage solo vocal work on crack). In sadistic fashion, he punctuated the phrases by beating himself with his mic, slapping his throat to hit that special high note, or just plain screaming.

After beating himself silly with the mic during "Bingo" the now bleeding Hass picked up his bass to joinhis band in an acid-jazz/rock piece on which Gerowitz comped chords in splotches lie a jazz pianist would. Matt Johnson also borrowed from his jazz brethren, with a sound not too far from a rock version of Elvin Jones. Indeed Johnson proed to be a rock throughout the evening (any man that can effectively drum with Viking horns for sticks is OK in my book). He proved that he could really groove as the group moved into a shuffle-feel whiere Wilkie turned up the gain for chunky rhythm while Gerowitz continued to splotch out chords. This led to a fabulously unconventional guitar solo featuring whammy-bar mayhem that made any guitar owner concerned for the health of the tortured instrument.

As we move through more melodic passages the group shifts to a funk groove that would make even the most resolute of behinds gyrate in delight. Indeed the group started to showcase their individual talents: Hass laid down some tight 16th note-driven bass lines, Wilkie tossed in a hint of blues leads amidst his steady rhythm work, Gerowitz utilized his whammy bar sometimes for pulsating rhythm, sometimes for pure effect, and Johnson was, simply put, a master of dynamic sensitivity, which was crucial to the success of this show.

Hass wound down the set with his girthy bass voice singing "Raindrops" in a manner that bordered parody. This was artfully set to some jazzy chords chops from Gerowitz.

The set came to an end, leaving the room entertained with a combination of shock, rock, cock, talk, and mock. The show seemed to parallel the progression of human life in some way (starting with "...Row Your Boat" ending with "Raindrops"). and it would not surprise me if this innovative group had some method to their madness. To conclude, FBM is like a carnivorous earwig that eats away at the sweet flesh of your musical sensibility only to suck the marrow of your forbidden sonic fantasies. All disgusting metaphors aside though, FBM has a unique sound that is worth checking out, and I for one would not be surprised to see them turn some heads in the near future.

-Mason Razavi - The Groove


Discography

Full versions of songs available on our MySpace.

Debut album coming late January '07.

Photos

Bio

Full Body Massage started off as a complete accident. James and Josh were attempting to form a group to cover funk songs from the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown. Badly in need of finding a bassist, James asked John, who was more interested in metal and electronica, to try out. During the first rehearsal, the three could see that there was no musical chemistry in what they were trying to do, and out of frustration, John started doing a rocky slap bass line. James, out of frustration, started to do a heavy dissonant guitar line over what John was doing, and Josh, out of frustration, did a bluesy whammy bar line over that. That song is now She's Always On My Mind, and the three haven't looked back since.
Everyone could tell that the music had great potential from the get go, but how it should be presented was a source of much frustration for a while. Everything was tried from being an ambient noise outfit to performing demented versions of children's songs. It's ironic that after trying out so many bizarre things, the group came to settle on something more mainstream: rock and funk.
It's always interesting hearing people try to describe the experience of a Full Body Massage show. People have compared the band to pop superstars like Coldplay and Depeche Mode, dark metal acts like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, and underground legends like The Clash and Primus. But somehow, audiences are always saying that we find a way to tie it all neatly together.
The band is dedicated to art that leaves a lasting impression. Not content to just be another Clear Channel band like a million others that will be forgotten in ten years, Full Body Massage works hard to integrate audio and video, punk rock spectacle and pop perfection into their shows. As long as it's artful, beautiful and intelligent, the band is into it.

Previous Venues:

The Paradise Rock Club
The Middle East (upstairs and downstairs)
The Hard Rock Cafe
The Bulfinch Yacht Club
The Zeitgeist
The Reel Bar