Ex-members of bands like Dead And Gone, the VSS, Year Future, and others that escape my foggy memory make up Optional Body. The style is on the post-punk side, a bit like where Cat Party is at these days. What really hooks me with the group is Rocky Crane’s guitar playing. I was always a fan of the stuff he was doing in Dead And Gone, and wanted to hear more, especially when he would add a little extra between songs in a live setting. The sound is simultaneously sprawling, cold, and dark. The A side is the best of the two. The tempo is moderately quick and has a bit of urgency without going the too easy spastic route. Percussion keeps time, and sometimes bashes around, but is still in control. The guitar brings the darkness. “Inelastic,” which is on the flip, is good, but it contrasts too much with the mood set from “Surviving Avalanches.” It’s a bit more ratcheted up. The vocal delivery is more forceful and the bass and drums are snaking in and out of one another. It’s like if Scratch Acid went more goth and less punk. Still, a good song, but I’d like maybe one more in between for a smoother transition.
–M.Avrg (25 Diamonds, 25diamonds.com)