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Rochester, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Rochester, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band World Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Thunder Body are go"

Rochester band Thunder Body serves up one of the deepest grooves you will ever encounter. Clearly a reggae band, Thunder Body takes funk's intensity and blends it with a casual soul aesthetic. It's spine-bending, deep, and joyous. And the band's protracted jams prolong the elation. - City Newspaper

"Chicago Jam Scene"

This was some of the most tripped-out reggae I've ever heard. It was so slow & gooey that it kind of felt like a 'chopped & screwed' version of classic island tunes… a true force of reggae…[Brian Blatt] brought the perfect amount of psychedelic weirdness and pushed this band into a realm that not many bands occupy. - Chicago Jam Scene

"Thunder Body raises the bar with their new release “Wind Blows Harder”"

Thunder Body is holding nothing back folks! Their first full length album is not only good, it has become my album of the year. All of this transpired in the last month of the year! Like in most year end polls, this tends to happen. Never fails after you have already written your list.

available on I-Tunes:

Wind Blows Harder was released on the band’s own Medicine Hi Fi label, and is one of the most ambitious sound scape oriented records that I heard in the last few years. The thing that makes it such an essential piece of music is the fact that it merges the live show experimentalism of the band with the highest capabilities possible within a studio. The effect is a successful attempt to inject the slow dubbed out and floating impact that the live show brings to the table. I am not sure if this was the plan. In either case, it is a picture perfect representation of what Thunder Body is right now! It is a portrait of a band that is at a creative level that most of their peers will find to be elite!

The opening track of Wind Blows Harder, Come What May, is so catchy and bouncy that it truly makes me want to break dance. It is easily one of my favorite tracks on this record, and possibly of the year. Thunder Body gets locked into such transcendent grooves, that the only way for the music to go is out. It is a formula of intuitiveness that seems to be the signature purpose on this track and many other greats here. Another example of this exuberance is captured on a song like Buffalo, where the band gets tight, locked in, and drifting in each passing second. It is an expansion of a sound you may know, but it’s originality is undeniable. Sonically, it is calming and yet trippy at the same time.

The album is also great from a lyrical standpoint. Some of these songs are fun, and some deliver a message that is spiritual in some way. Thunder Body is great in the examination of universal themes. On Ancestors, Matt O’Brien delivers the soulful homage to family lineage with the delivery of, “and we all want to be remembered some day.” Of course, it is about giving respect as he carries on with “ This one’s for ancestor’s spirits. We’re gonna build it up strong so they can hear it.” A lot of the record includes very intelligent observations on life and the human condition. The message is contagious, infectious, and inspirational in one positive swoop.

Thunder Body has IT! They offer a glowing orb of joy for you, and yet, it is hard to fully explain how they get you to that place. I try my best to put it into words, but it is truly difficult to give it the total justice that it deserves. So I will leave it at this, Wind Blows Harder, is a pivotal moment of time within the Rochester music scene. It essentially sets the bar for how high a band should aim to make themselves the best that they can be. Thunder Body has released a classic, and it I feel it will be recognized as such. - Upstate LIVE New York State Music Guide

"Hot tickets: Thunder Body finds new sound during hiatus"

Next Friday's Bands on the Bricks show at the Rochester Public Market is a story of two bands.

One is a recent resurrection: The Majestics, a Rochester reggae staple that broke up 35 years ago after backing Lee "Scratch" Perry and sharing stages with Burning Spear, Peter Tosh, Yellowman and Toots & the Maytals. Majestics originals Ron Stackman, Jim Schwarz and Lou LaVilla, with guitarist Kevin Hart, together again.

The other is a recent re-tooling. Thunder Body, having "outgrown our tendency to play exclusively roots reggae," says drummer and singer Matt O'Brian.

Both are playing the free concert at 6 p.m. Friday at the Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St.

"We added a three-piece horn section that has made us into soul music, or some kind of large band, horn-groovy stuff thing that I don't think is reggae anymore," O'Brian says of the new Thunder Body. He's joined by keyboardist Rachel Orke, bassist Jeremiah Pacheco and guitarists Dennis Mariano and Sam Snyder.

Joining them now is Benton Sillick on trumpet, Josh Frisch on trombone and Matthew Sieber-Ford on tenor sax.

O'Brian is one of the founders, and lead singer and guitarist, of Rochester's reggae-rockers Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. He and Orke left that band in 2009, and by the spring of 2010 had Thunder Body up and running.

Then, four years in, they stopped.

"Rachel and myself had a baby, and we took a hiatus of nine months that we'd planned ahead of time," O'Brian says. "After we'd had the baby, I kind of realized we had been on autopilot for a while, and I suggested to the band that we step back and give ourselves some time to get a new sound and creative feeling. I encountered no resistance."

Last month's Grassroots Music & Dance Festival, he says, "was the point at which we realized the transition had really taken place."

"Diehard reggae fans, just a few, were outspokenly bummed out," O'Brian says. "Everyone else is outspokenly overjoyed.

"I just generally think we're better, since coming back and working so hard. We bought Rachel a Hammond organ, and since then the sound has come alive and gotten bigger."

Not only do Thunder Body's old songs sound different, it has a handful of new ones. And when it goes into the studio to record, it won't be digital, but analog. The band playing direct to tape.

"We're not purists," O'Brian says. "But we're interested in the process and sound. We want to experience that old-school magic." - Democrat and Chronicle


1. Devour
2. Get This Straight
3. Body Song
4. Whole Pocket
5. One Love


LP: Wind Blows Harder (2011)
1. Come What May
2. Ancestors
3. Buffalo
4. Full Circle
5. Wind Blows Harder
6. Work Very Hard
7. Don't Blink
8. Glide
9. Feel No Way
10. Must Have Been Easy
11. Victory
12. Tiger Crane
13. Strangers


LP: Radioactive (2012)
1. Radioactive
2. 4 on the Floor
3. Hawk by the Highway
4. Anger Is Poison
5. Passion
6. Get on Board
7. Cherry Strut
8. Blues Blues
9. Threaten You
10. Moon Is a Lady
11. ...Unless You're a Nuclear Mystic, Let's Be Realistic...




Our New Sound (and how it smells) - 

Thunder Body set out over the last year to distill and extract what it is that makes us undefinable, and to find out what our music really smells like.  A brief hiatus was taken from bookings and recording, and into the lab we went.  Insufficient for this band is the genre designation of "reggae."  It turns out that the essential oil of Thunder Body smells more like Otis Redding or Sly Stone than it does like ganja.  We found what we were looking for and created a more pure expression of exactly what Thunder Body does.  Ultimately a very American band, Thunder Body is some kind of Joe Cocker outfit, but it's all original music.  Thunder Body has a lead-singing drummer, a guy who plays the guitar overhand, huge horns, and a beautiful lady who crushes the organ, rhodes, and clav... real ones that make you shiver... and a couple other guys that'll just knock your socks off.  This is not a style you've tried before, and you haven't heard all of it until you've heard over a hundred songs.  Thunder Body is ready to take our place in todays slew of live acts as that super tight, psychedelic-gospel pushing, out-of-nowhere band with a huge sound and songs that deserve it.


Thunder Body - Our Roots

In the fall of 2009, having been on the road and finding themselves home again in Rochester, NY, Matthew O’Brian (lead vocals, drums) and Rachel Orke (keys) began to scheme a new group.  By spring of 2010, Thunder Body became an extension of the work these two had been doing in their previous band.  Joined by Jeremiah Pacheco (bass), Dennis Mariano (guitar, vocals), Brian "Colonel Parmisan" Blatt, and, slightly later, “Overhand Sam” Snyder (overhand guitar), Thunder Body at first focused on touring a familiar sound, steeped in roots reggae and dub - not the kind the kids are listening to today, but those styles, truly.  Thunder Body made an EP, two full length records, and a 2 song vinyl offering in our first three years, and recording became a greater priority than touring.  Listen for Parm on those first recordings.  Toward to end of Rachel and Matt's pregnancy in 2013, members of Thunder Body performed as the rhythm section on a Kevin Kinsella (10 ft. Ganja Plant, Former JBB) record.  We continued playing and recording at our usual pace.  All of this was love and magic at the time, but, having developed an air tight rhythm section, Thunder Body began searching for a deeper dig.  A creative regrouping became necessary.  Babies are born.  Seasons change.  We grow.  After a roughly one-year hiatus from recording or gigs, Thunder Body reemerged in a new form.  Benton Sillik (trumpet), Matthew Seiber-Ford (saxophone), and Abe Nouri (trombone) joined the band throughout 2015, taking Thunder Body into a new realm.  The first show with our full horn section was at Grassroots in July 2015, where our hourlong set featured more than half new songs, and all new arrangements.  We are in the infancy of a new time. 

Thunder Body has shared the stage with Ozomatli, Trombone Shorty, The Wailers, Third World, Monty Alexander, Rubblebucket, John Brown's Body, and Donna the Buffalo, among others.

Band Members