The album art of a horseback-riding knight on a material flag was enough to pique my interest for Knight, but the 32-second-long intro of medieval monk-chanting confirmed I was listening to one of the most eccentric EPs I have ever heard. Greg Buzzer’s Knight cleverly combines thick-cut electronic textures with material you haven’t heard since the 12th century.
Bass, vibrato, and deep vocal pauses bestow upon Knight a Renaissance feel, while electronic aspects appear later in the songs, such as the house beat in “Rise Water.” The sound of a chain clanking tugs and weighs on the percussive beast, adding a gritty, metallic lag to the tempo. For as deep and masculine as the vocals are, they fare lightly, resulting in Buzzer sounding like a singing, railway-working, grave-digging ghost. His vocals are like the lightweight, impenetrable armor Kate the blacksmith makes for Heath Ledger in A Knight’s Tale.
Speaking of A Knight’s Tale, I imagine the track “Knight” to be the pump-up song before Heath Ledger slams down his armor and raises his lance in the final jousting battle against his nemesis. The unexpected string section in the military drumline of “All the Vultures” instills a similar fiery determination and excitement. And the last track, “Oven,” as well — it hauls a serious heaviness, but adds an exotic Eastern flair with the sound of belly dancers clinking their brass finger cymbals.
“Slave to my VoDoO” has a rough, kids-I-never-hung-out-with-but-admired sensibility that reminded me of The Gorillaz. Guitar plucking and subtly-accented vocals give it an all-American, bluesy twang — an O Brother, Where Art Thou? vibe, if you will.
With phrases like, “Mother, can you hear me? / I think I got lost in the dead space / help me remember the earth,” “Mother” presents a series of attention-demanding lyrics and a battle-time drumline that gives way to a synth vortex. It sounds like a crusade of knights is about to fight an army of extraterrestrial beings.
Knight is the uncensored, enrapturing battle between musical elements from a feudal age and modern-day rock-n-roll-inspired electronica. Greg Buzzer is the rock-n-roll King Arthur. —Rachel Haney