Following three EPs released in the past ten years, Body Stuff 4 is the New York City band’s first full-length album. It will be released June 2nd via The Chain.
Body Stuff is the duo of vocalist/songwriter Curran Reynolds and producer Ryan Jones. Before starting the project in 2013, the two companions worked together as the rhythm section for Today Is The Day, a band led by cult hero Steve Austin. They played on the album “Pain Is A Warning,” produced by Kurt Ballou, and toured worldwide to support it. They were also previously part of Wetnurse, a metal group known for their unconventional style. Sadly, their acclaimed vocalist Gene Fowler passed away from unknown reasons last year.
Reynolds states: “After many years of playing in bands as a drummer, it was time to make something that was all mine. Body Stuff is my thing. I write all the music and words. But Ryan has been part of it from the very start. His style as an engineer, and the camaraderie that exists between the two of us, is part of what makes it what it is.”
Across three EPs – Body Stuff (2013), Body Stuff 2 (2016), and Body Stuff 3 (2020) – a singular sound was established. Passionate vocals and wistful hooks, nodding to the songs that filled late-‘80s Top 40 charts, were bolstered by a bellicose drum machine and thick guitars conjuring industrial-metal power, while a ghostly fog blanketed the whole affair.
According to a 2020 Metal Injection article, the music of Body Stuff is so captivating and enjoyable that even if Godflesh and Billy Idol collaborated, they would still be searching for the secret to their infectious sound. Additionally, a review in The Wire Magazine praised the band’s use of synthesizers to create a unique blend of doomed romanticism and stadium rock, and overall found their music to be highly evocative.
“With Body Stuff, I am reconnecting with the kid I was, growing up in towns in Maine and Kansas in the ’80s and getting rocked by the songs on the radio,” says Reynolds. “I am tapping into that innocence. I am not seeking to replicate something old, I am creating something new that electrifies me the way those songs did then.”
While Body Stuff’s roots can be traced to those distant times and places, the project is thoroughly caked in the grime of New York City. “I moved to NYC at 20 and I’ve been here ever since. Body Stuff is colored by decades of life in this city. The sounds, the smells. The euphorias, the disasters. Memories of the highest highs and lowest lows. The friends who died.”
He continues: “I am shaped by the past, but this is music of the here and now. The intention is to channel my experiences into a universal message of love.”
With Reynolds’ songwriting at the heart of the project, he and Jones work closely together to track and mix the songs; Jones, also a live audio engineer for Grammy winners Portugal. The Man, owns and operates NYC recording studio Growlhouse, where Body Stuff 4 was realized. Live, Reynolds and Jones bring Body Stuff to the stage as a duo; they have performed on bills with Godflesh, Uniform, EU1OGY, Statiqbloom, Collapsing Scenery, Fotocrime, The Austerity Program, and more.
Recorded between 2020 and 2022, Body Stuff 4 sees Body Stuff reach its most fully fleshed-out state thus far. From the raw minimalism of the earlier work, the sound has progressed into a more ornate form while still retaining its rough edges and bleeding heart.
Body Stuff 4’s opening track and first single, “The Chains,” is a swirling meditation that advances like an oncoming storm. Layers of metallic guitar, double-bass rolls, a synth that sounds like a harpsichord, and Reynolds’ distinct voice, set a tone that is equally yearning and defiant.
“I was thinking about fathers and sons,” says Reynolds. “It’s a song about finding your way. Wanting to be part of something and wanting to be part of nothing.”
Other highlights on the album include “Fame,” featuring guest vocals by pop icon Tiffany – one of the very artists whose songs rocked the young Reynolds as a kid in the ’80s – and a remix of Body Stuff 3’s standout single, “New York in the Rain,” created by Jamie Stewart, the visionary behind Xiu Xiu.
Body Stuff 4 was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Torche, Code Orange). The cover art was created by Curran Reynolds. The promo photos were shot by skateboard photographer Paul Roura, whose work has graced the cover of Thrasher Magazine.
The album will be released via The Chain, the multi-faceted company co-founded by Reynolds, Justin Pearson (Three One G Records) and Brandon Gallagher (Trace Amount).
The band plays April 19th at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, NY. Het your tickets here.