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AAA Music | 14 July 2020

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Knifeworld – Dear Lord, No Deal

| On 30, Jun 2011

Knifeworld return with a new three track EP entitled ‘Dear Lord, No Deal’ – released (digitally) on July 4th through Believers Roast. Starting life as the solo outing of former The Monsoon Basscon frontman and Cardiacs guitartist Kavus Torabi, Knifeworld are now a fully-fledged six-piece band, and this is the first EP to be recorded with all members.

‘Dear Lord, No Deal’ is absolutely insane. It took me about a million listens to get into in order to write this review. Don’t get me wrong; I am all for challenging music (with acts like Dillinger Escape Plan, Flying Lotus and Opeth being among my favourite), but throwing ‘accessibility’ out the window doesn’t always make for good music. So, is Knifeworld’s take on math-rock-pop worth putting in the repeated listens?

Opening the EP is ‘Pilot Her,’ a pop-punk tune with a slight underbelly of thrash metal/metalcore, thanks the quiet, chugging drums and riffs. The addition of the high-pitched yelps adds a Blood Brothers element, and the introduction of the brass allows a kind of Capdown ska-punk vibe.  After about three listens, you just may enjoy this urgent and upbeat song. The title track comes with some off-kilter instrumentation and displays their baroque pop influences, with some strange brass arrangements and some eccentric keys. There’s a nice little guitar line, and it’s easy to admire the progressive nature of the song structure, but nonetheless this is a poor man’s Grizzly Bear. The EP closes off with the 14 minute (yes, FOURTEEN!) ‘HMS Washout’ – an ambitious song with many-a-part, from art-rock to ambient-pop, then to the Stars And Songs-esque party-punk finale, made possible thanks to the horns and harmonies. Yes, it maybe ambitious, so long as Knifeworld’s ambition was to test my patience to the point of despair (which it probably was) – this closing tune is too self-indulgent to merit any kind of repeats.

All in all, a well-produced EP with dynamic song structures and erratic instrumentation, held together by tight musicianship and fairly strong melodies. But there just isn’t quite enough here to warrant making Knifeworld part of your staple diet.

Author: Clive Rozario