The Body
No One Deserves Happiness

(Thrill Jockey)


According to the band, ‘No One Deserves Happiness’ is a 50-minute long quest to make “the grossest pop album of all time.” This aspiration speaks more to The Body’s warped definition of what a pop album sounds like – with birdlike shrieks, industrial drum machines and doom metal guitars, it’s not exactly Taylor Swift.

Still, if not conventionally catchy, there’s something perversely fun about the fifth album from the Rhode Island duo. The kitchen sink approach to grim, grinding grotesquery calls to mind Swans in running clown make-up, particularly on ‘Adamah’, which forces Maralie Armstrong’s soulful vocal to writhe and twist over four minutes of pummelling noise.

‘Prescience’ and ‘The Myth Arc’, the album’s final two songs, throw the biggest curveball of all. The guitars crawl through the same four chords, the drums trudge, and the wordless vocals ominously echo like a Catholic mass on Sunday. The previous eight tracks of relentless slow-motion misery are cast into sharp relief by something which, whether we deserve it or not, almost sounds like happiness. Touché, The Body.