Knifeworld are the brainchild of Kavus Torabi, who also plays guitar with Guapo and punk-prog legends The Cardiacs. The band have made something of a name for themselves on the live circuit. An eight-piece band with a brass section and a bassoon, they play what is best described as completely bonkers psychedelic rock. They have wowed festival audiences and headlined the successful “Stabbing a Dead Horse” tour with Trojan Horse and The Fierce And The Dead.
Their second full-length album is their first record to feature the current eight-piece version of the band, and it successfully captures their big live sound of eight instruments and five voices. It’s a record that takes psychedelia, jazz, hard rock and all kinds of other things, and puts them in a blender to produce something that sounds quite unlike anything other band in the current scene. Jagged angular guitar and woodwind riffs alternate with rich vocal harmonies and sometimes sinister atmospherics. There are hints of the late Frank Zappa’s off-the wall approach to melody and arrangements, and occasional flashes of various 70s King Crimsons. Torabi’s occasionally goofy lead vocal contrasts with the layered harmonies of Melanie Woods, Chloe Herrington and Nicki Maher.
It’s an ambitious and very varied record. “The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes”, which has to be the song title of the year features electronic soundscapes interrupted with a brief but frenetic squalling burst of free jazz. Then there’s the stripped-back spookiness of “This Empty Room Once Was Alive” with its atonal guitars and piano. The minute-and-a-half long “The Orphanage” has a punk feel. There are strongly Zappaesque jazz-rock instrumental passages in “Send Him Seaworthy” and “Destroy the World We Love”. But if anything characterises the power of Knifeworld in full flow it’s the big wall-of-sound workouts “Don’t Land On Me” and the closing epic “I’m Hiding Behind My Eyes”.
“The Unravelling” is a major step forward for Knifeworld, and reflects their current live sound far more than any of their previous recordings. Fans of Zappa should find a lot to like about this record, as should anyone who thinks there should be more bassoons in rock. But this is a record for anyone looking for something determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms. Which Knifeworld certainly do.
Chris Picton, one-time bassist of Quecia, has a new album out. Two years in the making, Chris plays all instruments aside from a couple of tracks featuring Paul Ayre on guitar. Though largely instrumental, it also features Kirsty McCarrick and Hayley McCarrick on vocals.
July 2014 news from The Reasoning.
Our album is sounding amazing already, harking back to some of the much-loved musical and vocal elements from our earlier days, but with a great deal of contemporary pizazz. After the whirlwind experiences of the past couple of years, we’re going to take some extra time to really develop and embellish this new piece of work, craft it to its very richest potential and, most importantly, ensure that we give YOU, our dear followers, your most enjoyable Reasoning experience to date. This is going to be a big financial investment for us – outsourcing the recording of drums and, for the first time, vocals, to some “big” studios. We’re also in talks with several mix engineers, both here and on the other side of the Atlantic – more on this soon. Particular time and attention will be paid to the capturing of voices this time around, with Rachel and Seb (our young French floozy) leading the way, ably embellished by Rob and Jake.
The October tour will still be going ahead and will feature some material from the new album as well as their 2007 debut album “Awakening” in full. The tour visits Southampton, London, York, Bolton, Cardiff and Bilston.
Winter in Eden’s “With Intent”, the lead track from the forthcoming album “Court of Conscience”, which you can still pre-order from their online shop.
Great nail-on-head post by Scott Rowley of Classic Rock. (Registration required)
Because your life didn’t stop in 1993 when you got a job or got married and stopped going to gigs. And your taste in music doesn’t have to be frozen there either. There’s plenty of great music – but if you’re looking at the charts, you’re looking in the wrong place. The good stuff is hard to find. It’s not going to ‘break through’, take over the mainstream or spearhead a new movement. It’s probably not the music your kids listen to.
People forget that back in the 1970s, the supposed heyday of classic rock, you’d never hear Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd on daytime radio or on television; it was all Boney M, Gary Glitter or worse. The best stuff was only ever broadcast late at night, or spread by word or mouth.
Today there is more great music out there than it’s possible to keep up with. Regular readers of this blog will know I champion the likes of Mostly Autumn, Panic Room, Chantel McGregor, Touchstone, Also Eden, Cloud Atlas, Morpheus Rising and many more. The media-driven “mainstream” pays them no attention. Most of your neighbours and work colleagues have no idea their music exists. If you’re not a regular reader and have stumbled across this post at random there’s a good chance you won’t have heard of them either, in which case you ought to give them a listen.
Of course, there is probably an awful lot of great music that I have yet to hear.
The debut album from When Empires Fall, the new project from former Stolen Earth and Breathing Space bassust and songwriter Paul Teasdale, is now available for pre-order.
In their own words:
When Empires Fall’ formed in the Winter of 2013. Founded by bass player Paul Teasdale (Stolen Earth, Breathing Space, Sanchez), the debut album brings together musicians from across the UK and further afield to bring you an eclectic, genre-defying collection of songs from a band who refuse to be categorised.
The album contains multi-layered audiofields reminiscent of the greatest eras of classic rock, with obvious nods in the direction of Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, The Black Keys, Editors, Mostly Autumn, Porcupine Tree and The XX.
Described by some as nu-progressive, the sounds stay close to the band’s symphonic and sometimes hard-edged rock heritage, whilst embracing modern styles and sounds. It takes the classic sounds of the rasping Hammond and powerful overdriven guitar-stacks, and adds huge strings and harmonies to create a soundscape you can get lost in.
With an eclectic mix of classic rock and far more contemporary influences this is sounding like a very interesting project whose debut album ought to be well worth the wait.
The song “Searchlight” from Cloud Atlas’ “Beyond the Vale” illustrated with photos from their launch gig in York last month.
Halo Blind have put together a video for the track “The Puppet” from the album “Occupying Forces”.
A taster for the new album due in September.
Exciting news from Luna Rossa! They’ve just stated on Twitter that they’re well into recording their second album, with a release scheduled for Autumn, with an accompanying tour.