Cut to a coupla days ago, when I got to see the Knives again for the first time since January's Winter Ends Destruction fest held in the waning months of Tonic. They've been playing a decent amount lately including a European tour, and judging by the absolutely hypnotic set they played this time, have become a bit of a rock (or even prog-rock) monster. The addition of a bassist (whose name escapes me, sorry) gives their stuff a kind of chugging locomotion, and the way they accent simple patterns with Mike and Maya's radiant guitar, warming keys, and ghostly moans is really stunning. Parts are pretty Kraut-y in a Can sense, but what I really dig is how these guys maintain their noise-sculpture sensibility in the context of structured rock. Every song, as repetitive and patterned as they got, had a core drone and attention to sonic texture that I doubt would be there if these guys weren't already experts at manipulating and massaging pure abstraction.
Mike was nice enough to bequeath me a tour CD-R before the show, a split with the Knives' Euro tour-mates Airport War. Both of the Knives' contributions are still a little airier than what I saw them play this week, but "Everything Happens Twice" definitely captures some of the vibe of their current sound, moreso than anything on Remains. Nate's beat is more prominent, the bass has definitely got the repeto-groove down solid, and Mike's guitar and the spectre-like vox in the second half are right on target. I'm now way more stoked for the band's next release, whatever/whenever - and, oddly, kinda way more into the previous ones now, as you can hear the seeds of this new sound germinating there - so prepare yourself for more sycophantic fawning whenever that next rec should emerge.