The Wild Body are ready to push you with their sonic forces to move, groove and writhe.
The Portland three-piece that includes Michael Eff (guitar and vocals), Rebecca Rasmussen (bass) and Nicholas Quiller (drums) have been playing music for two and a half years, rocking house shows and stirring up venues like Mississippi Studios, The Know and Spare Room. They craft pop music like the Pixies, pump out no wave grooves in the manner of James Chance and the Contortions, and can fearlessly grind forward with post-punk vibes akin to Public Image Ltd. Quiller’s drumming is among the most creative in Portland’s rock scene and is filled with interesting polyrhythms and fun surprises. While the group are currently deep in the trenches putting the finishing touches on their first full-length album, TBA, they will first release their second EP, XOXOX, on Thursday, September 6.
Eff and Quiller, who met at Trade Up Music, began jamming in 2015, often as a two-piece knowing they needed another to complete their artful equation. “We performed a show as a noisey, thrashy two-piece at a house where future bassist Rasmussen was in the audience. After the show, she told us that the three of us were going to form a band, and it was going to be great. We acquiesced, and the rest, as they say, is history,” Eff tells.
“Housefire” is the first track you can hear from their upcoming EP. “We recorded this EP about a year ago with Eric Sabatino (of Miss Rayon) in the garage studio he built in his moped shop in St. Johns. We knocked out the bones of six songs in about five hours, and then a year went by in a flash,” says Eff, the main songwriter for the band.
“Although it had been something of a crowd favorite, ‘Housefire’ had always been a tricky song for us to play live because it requires a lot of live looping to do it with one guitar. We’ve probably performed that song live more different ways than any other song we’ve played. But recording it gave us a chance to develop it and suss it out further than we had been able to prior, and gave it new energy and a new more permanent form,” articulates Eff on the song’s metamorphosis.
“In The Wild Body, I am always trying to find a way to make the music both support and offset, or counterbalance, the lyrical content and tone in order to create tension around a given emotion or spectrum of emotions,” Eff relates. “On the surface, ‘Housefire’ is an angsty, aggressive song, channeling frustrations about society and the way people act toward each other and toward themselves and the ways we are divided and pitted against each other in this society. But then the choruses talk about patience and waiting for things to change. Waiting for the evening of one day, and the dawn of a new one. Most of The Wild Body’s songs have an angsty, or agitated undertone, but there’s always some cathartic point as well. The people in our lives, who are also inherently a part of the ‘house’ I’m talking about, ultimately act as the pillars that help keep it standing. Alone, we are frail,” Eff says.
“The overall sound of the band is without a doubt the combination of three unique personalities, each bringing a widely differing skill sets and influences to the table. Both Quiller and Rasmussen contribute to the writing and arranging of the songs and inherently shape their final forms. People consistently remark about their interactions on stage, saying they do a kind of ecstatic dance with each other, their parts interweaving and playing off the other, leaving me with a blank canvas upon which to paint whatever I want,” Eff describes. It’s an apt analogy and one that makes sense after listening to Eff lay out interesting guitar soundscapes made of licks, noises and loops, ones that are always guided by the rhythm section who kindly shepherd the wilder elements along the song’s journey.