White Light Black Moon by Bloody KnivesRelease date: April 6, 2018
Bloody Knives is a noisy Austin band that is known for its blistering live shows, and their releases have been equally frenetic, until now. On this new release, the beast is tempered a bit. Layers of sonic fuzz war with bassist Preston Maddox’s ethereal vocals, and his angelic croon wins out (he will no doubt laugh when he reads this). The band dumps thrash, shoegaze, dream pop, space rock, and industrial elements into the mix and emerges with a fresh, unadorned style that suits them perfectly.
This is post post punk, the perfect soundtrack for your dystopian daydreams! I love the thrumming bass (Preston) and nearly metronomic drum patterns (Jake McCown) on the stunning opener, ‘Darkstar’. The guitars (Jack O’Hara Harris) swoop in and out of the churning mix, and it flirts with droning psych in small ways. A truly epic tune, followed by the equally mind blowing but down and dirty ‘Demonism’. The latter tune reminds me the most of their older material, and your senses will explode. ‘Dig the Hole’ features guest musician Ritchard F. Napierkowski on keyboards and is a veritable burner on the dance floor. The title alone reminds me of Chemical Brothers and it inhabits the same blurry electronic space as that UK outfit.
‘New Machines’ is nightmare music for a creepy sci-fi flick, replete with insectoid synth bleats, heavy keyboard washes, and insanely fast drumming. Chilly and slick, it will slide constrictor like and annihilate you. McCown plays like a man possessed, and would fit in well in a punk band. ‘Midnight Hour’ is hazy, atmospheric dream pop with that thick, rubbery bass I love so well. It is strangely uplifting with a dangerous edge to it that never relents.
‘Slicer Repeater’ is brutally cold and Preston’s voice floats as if from a great distance away. ‘HKV’ is another barnstormer, and has a great melody. Preston’s bass does battle with pummeling drum beats and dramatic keyboard swooshes. The aliens have definitely come to conquer us by song’s end! ‘Hall of Mirrors’ has a killer melody and takes on a cloak of chaotic shoegaze that meshes perfectly with the catchy synth lines. Lovely!
‘Diamond Lives’ is an ominous but cool tune about the wealthy elite and how they should be abolished, their wealth distributed among the Have Nots. ‘prelude (reprise)’ is short and piano driven, and it’s the album’s final moment. In summary, this is a mighty fine outing from a talented group that should be savoured immediately.