Friday, October 16, 2015

Knife The Symphony / Smoke Signals... Review by Shawn Abnoxious

Once punk-rock ethics invade your space, its hard to do things any other way... 'If you want it, do it!' is ingrained in your head from the very start... Yeah, everyone knows the number one rule about split releases... Bands sharing a record, is bands spreading their product to others... Phratry Records has refined what the split record mission is, or was. Releases from Phratry are a product of love and respect. Each release calculated to accompany the ever growing history of not only the local scene, but the whole inner scene of networking that seemed to come along with every release made.

The Record is a 12EP that spins at 45 RPMs allowing three songs by each band that serves the roles of ambassadorship that comes as no surprise showcasing a true Cincinnati landmark, The Roebling Suspension Bridge. The 'test bridge' for the much bigger Brooklyn Bridge. SMOKE SIGNALS... representing Newport, Kentucky and Knife The Symphony from the Cincinnati side. The album jacket is two-color screen printthat looks as if it was reverse engineered from a different release of a Phratry Records Knife The Symphony and Dead Tongues release and glued back-together... Or is that just the official Thwart copy? Quick, go check your copy and look. I will wait... In fact, go get me a beer while your up... And a cup of coffee... I prefer to drink a coffee and Guinness simultaneuosly...

On the Knife side... I dont know what has gotten into these guys but the last two songs, "Fade Away" and "Last Dance" are fucking amazing and represent a different look of sonic dissonance and glory of minimal 'note-riding' that I must admit now, dear Thwart reader, that number amoung the best Knife stuff I think Ive heard yet. These two songs got me wondering about what happened to make Knife turn it up a notch? Theres a story there... The songs represent a fevered approach that sets about nothing except beautiful speculation and assuredness that indeed, Knife The Symphony is evolving. Still. Again. Wow.

My introduction to Smoke Signals grew on me the more I listened. I know how that sounds, but I dont mean it in any negative way. I take time listening to stuff and really give it a going-over... Whereas the screamo style of vocals and heavy sustain is there in Smoke Signals songs, the opera element and sychronicity of the vocals with the forward push of the drums, develops into reminding me about a great band called The Commonwealth along with the song structuring that may or may not be as complex as it sounds to me, that ultimatly, brings to mind Roy Orbison and RUSH. Yeah. I just said that, and I mean it too.

So, as usual, Phratry Records gives forth a product that is truly a great listen. I suggest that you show your local music pride and get this record because a record will last much longer than that watered-down mixed drink you just ordered from the bar so you look cool but like others, will be puking a fruity smell by nights end.

Phratry Records