The Body and the Earth by thisquietarmyRelease date: October 12, 2018
Label: Consouling Sounds (EU) / A Thousand Arms Music (US)
If you are like me and have enjoyed thisquietarmy’s solo work, you might have imagined what his music might sound like if a band were accompanying him at some point. I know I have from time to time. Eric Quach has answered the call and recently released a most regal hard-hitting masterpiece, The Body and the Earth. His grounded drones and soaring guitar work are propelled to further heights with the help of Marc-Olivier Germain on drums and synths and Charly Buss on bass and the ever so perfect trumpet.
The album’s sound is undeniably, thisquietarmy. Eric Quach has a signature guitar sound that I can spot right away. He’s managed to just add more to the sound without compromising a thing. The three play in this symbiotic dance that leaves you awestruck and wanting more. The album is made up of 4 tracks, totalling 40 minutes. Completely not enough but grateful for it nonetheless.
Without having asked Eric Quach directly and only basing the following on interpretation, the names of the tracks and the title of the album speak to the impact human consumption has and is having on the earth: ‘Cometh’, ‘Sixth Mass’, ‘Seismic Waves’ and ‘Algal Bloom’. The music intensely represents this critical point in our history with vigour and exactitude. I feel like this could be used as a callout for us to get our shit together, in musical form. If Quach chose to conjure up a band for these particular pieces, I understand why. The message is intense and can’t be done alone, not easily anyway.
‘Cometh’ starts with a drone, noise and the trumpet. I liken the trumpet sound to a type of foreshadowing. It’s done brilliantly. The bass soon starts and the trumpet continues its call. The bass is so rumbly and awesome and just compliments the guitar work so perfectly. When the drums kick in, it’s a tidal wave of raw power and emotion. All you can do is rock back and forth, eyes closed, and let the power of the instrumentation take over, let the wave of sound wash over you. What a great track to start the album off.
Imagine a quiet, desolate place. ‘Sixth Mass’ would be its soundtrack. The lament of the trumpet and the repeated guitar riff play off each other, the bass and drums get heavier and heavier, creating this ominous and intense build. It’s an emotional experience. Three quarters in the bass is so low, almost liquid in its consistency. Then when you think you can’t be taken any further than you already have, at the 9:20ish mark it picks up even more. It’s explosive. Then all goes mostly quiet again. The trumpet work here is incredible.
‘Seismic Waves’ contains some pretty incredible synth work. The trumpet again is fantastic as well as the guitar and drum work. Wait for the 4:21 mark. You’ll see. Seismic. Waves.
‘Algal Bloom’ is my favourite track off the album. The synth and trumpet again are on point. Creating an eerie start to the track. The guitar soon mixes in with its delayed trail and then the drums come in, heavy one kick intervals to the bass drum. The band builds layers on top of layers. At around the 4:55 mark a sort of lament begins. It hit me personally to the core and I was overcome with emotion. As it continues, this feeling only intensified, reaching its height at the 6:22 mark. It left me in tears. So very overwhelming.
This album is a masterpiece, not only in its instrumentation, but how that instrumentation relays its message. I hope I get to experience this album live one day. You can experience this album every which way, through headphones, digitally or on LP, it makes no difference. It’s that good.