Show Me the Body Offer Freedom From a World of Viral Commoditization

Aside from the banjo, it's honesty and freedom that really distinguish the New York City hardcore/punk trio

When you think hardcore and punk, a banjo might be one of the last things to come to mind. For Show Me the Body, it's one of their most immediately distinctive features.

But unexpected instrumentation aside, it's honesty and freedom that really distinguish the New York City trio, who manage to also integrate hip-hop and noise elements seamlessly and authentically into their sound. 

"This is what we like to do, and, as individuals, this is what we're good at. This is what makes us feel good, and what makes us feel free," vocalist and banjoist Julian Cashwan Pratt told me over FaceTime as the band trekked across the country in their tour van. 

"I think it's just about being honest.... Be yourself man: Have honesty; have real heart -- that's all we do. We just try to be ourselves," Pratt added.

Naturally, that liberating authenticity translates into their relationship with fans.

"It's about making them feel free, extending any kind of freedom that we can," Pratt said.

In an industry rife with perfunctory gestures and endless, shallow jockeying, Show Me the Body's idealism is far more than just refreshing -- it's a possible new way forward, proof that maybe, just maybe, punk isn't dead?

"There's definitely a part of what we do that's antithetical to going viral. It's not about not wanting that to happen; it's just by the common fact that that would never happen," Pratt said.

"S--- is built on shock value. The trend of streaming is indicative of music no longer being sold as something that's cool or special. It's more like a commodity, a form of entertainment. At the same time, there are few people who are actually digging for new music -- at least for stuff that doesn't just get shoved down your throat," he added.

In many ways, all it takes for an authentic counter cultural movement to evolve in the world of viral commoditization is a little effort.

"Just go to the shows; have the real-life experience. Don't expect the music to come to you," bassist Harlan Steed said.

Show Me the Body headline Che Cafe on Sunday, April 28. Get tickets here.

Rutger Ansley Rosenborg has been with NBC SoundDiego since 2016. Find out more here.

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