Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Knife the Symphony-Knife the Symphony EP

January 1, 2007

knifethesymphonyBand Name: Knife the Symphony

Album Name: Knife the Symphony EP

Best Element: Intensity

Genre: Artsy Punk Rock

Website: www.knifethesymphony.com

Label Name: Phratry Records

Band E-mail: kts@knifethesymphony.com

Sometimes I attempt to understand the thought process of certain artists. My thinking usually runs along the lines of “what the hell were they thinking when they did this?” For example, what were the Red Hot Chili Peppers thinking when they released a double album (Stadium Arcadium helped make up my sleep debt), or why does this dude have to scream when he could make his point in a more calming way. Regardless of all this, questions mainly arise when bands try to do something new by releasing a concept album. Don’t get me wrong, I love concept albums, but they only seem to move to one of two extremes: either they fall flat and are disregarded or they become legendary.

After reading about Knife the Symphony and listening to their self-titled debut EP I’m going to go ahead and assume that this was meant to be a concept album (mostly in their philosophy). They claim to “cut away the mundane and consumed” and bring back the “lost art of playing music” with “unity between bands, between styles and between scenes.” With all this talk of knifing “corporate control” and the “mainstream” I feel like I should be hearing the sounds of prison inmates fighting with their makeshift toothbrush shivs; instead all I hear is artsy punk rock. Knife the Symphony starts their release with “Common Elements,” a simple guitar driven track with some fairly repetitive lyrics. “Solemn Solon,” despite its misleading name, proves that KTS can be more interesting. While Albers was yelling about egos and faith, I had a flashback to June of ‘44 (not the year). At least KTS is wielding some hefty lyrics about everything from personal problems to global conflicts. “Summer’s Decay” uses its driving rhythm to its advantage, but lags when it comes to vocals. As in a few of the other tracks, the vocals seem sprawled and disconnected. While it fits the style, it is more of a distraction than anything. Beyond that, KTS has an intense and energetic feel throughout the EP.

Knife the Symphony is the first band I have come across in some time that truly fits its description. This EP will leave you spent, but after a few listens KTS grows on you. I am no big fan of the scream/yell of lyrics, but this release has taught me that intensity has to be in every aspect of the music before it can be effective. This is one strength that Knife the Symphony has pinned down, making them a force to be reckoned with.

-Mark Pranger

prangerm07@yahoo.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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