Thunder Body: Giving it up when the wind blows: a lesson in Abundance
Rising out of Rochester, New York, Thunder Body is the one of the freshest, hottest new reggae bands to hit the scene in years! In 2010, members Matt O’Brian (lead vocals and drums,) and Rachel Orke (keyboards and melodica,) initiated Thunder Body after leaving Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. Thunder Body prevails as a fusion of uplifting sounds illuminated by analog roots reggae, soulful gospel, futuristic hip hop, circuit bent “science” and elegant melody neatly balanced along a thumping low-end bass. A credit to their musical scholarship and internal attunement, each one of these complex elements remains distinct, audible and can be accessed at any point with a simple adjustment of attention. Joining Matt and Rachel in this euphonic combination are Jeremiah Pacheco (Bass), Colonel Parmisan (“science”), Dennis Mariano (guitar and vocals) and Sam Snyder (overhand guitar).
Throughout 2010 Thunder Body cultivated a well of new material and began to build momentum by playing local weeklies and touring throughout the northeast. During this time the music progressed into a genre-defying sonic meditation described as International Body Music, as Medicine Music. In December, on their label Medicine Hi-Fi, they released their first EP, self-titled, “Thunder Body.” The musical experience expressed in the album and at their live shows is not limited to reggae fans. Rather, it connects, and directly, to the core of artists, musicians, truth seekers, and revolutionaries that gather at Thunder Body events. A perfect example of this generous expanse of citizenry occurred during “April Powers,” Medicine Hi-Fi’s 2011 celebration marking Thunder Body’s first anniversary. The festival assembled an explosive nine-band lineup to Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, New York. An eclectic mash up of genres, crossing boundaries and weaving through styles, April Powers, was exemplary of the gargantuan throw downs designed by Thunder Body to experience and expand the community body. With that local heart intact, Thunder Body travelled west on their second major tour ending with a privileged slot opening for The Wailers and the Poudre Valley Reggae Festival in Fort Collins, Colorado.
On December 23rd, 2011 Thunder Body released their highly anticipated first full length LP “Wind Blows Harder” through the label Medicine Hi-Fi. “Wind Blows Harder” was recorded in Syracuse, NY at More Sound Studios with master sound engineer Jason “Jocko” Randall. The creative chemistry between Jocko and Thunder Body reached full potential in these mid-summer sessions. Seemingly, as a witness to the genuineness of their relationship, and the sincerity embodied by their intent, thunderstorms actually manifested overhead during the recording. The meteorological verve was tangible and humbling; the synchronicity and vigor, not lost on the group, was assimilated into the LP – a testament to Jocko’s engineering capacity and the band’s skillful attention to the musical atmosphere currently present. There were many beneficiaries of the session’s generous buoyancy, as friends, family, and associate vagrants dined on homemade meals, artisan coffee, tea, beer and most importantly, friendship.
In addition to the classic live Thunder Body sound, upright piano, acoustic guitar, hand drums, percussion, and secret weapons of choice are spread throughout. Buttery rich tones and shimmering soundscapes reign supreme. Just as everything comes naturally with this band the album built itself organically. According to Matt O’Brian, "Each detail of our music is intended to be totally in focus. We strive to provide super-fat signals that a body can link up with and ride" (UpstateLive magazine). Increasingly devoted to their music and fans, inspired by the authentic reception of their work, Thunder Body will travel the Northeast and Colorado this coming Winter to support their LP “Wind Blows Harder.” They have shared the stage with Third World, the Wailers, Ozomatli, John Brown’s Body, Rubblebucket and many others. It is with genuine gratitude and respect toward their lineage that Thunder Body presents, and confidently, the next wave in American Roots and Dub.