This Knapsack record has been a missing piece of my record collection for quite some time. Though I've had Silver Sweepstakes on CD for ages, I just never was able to pick up a copy of the LP. Not that the album is particularly rare. In fact, in comparison to the 2 other Knapsack LPs, Silver Sweepstakes is usually downright cheap. But, it was always a bit more than I was willing to pay. When I saw this one hanging around on eBay for $20, that was the sweet spot I've been looking for. I can absolutely justify $20 for this record.
Silver Sweepstakes wasn't the first Knapsack record I had heard, though it was their first. I came on board for 1997's Day Three Of My New Life. I did backtrack pretty much right away and pick this up, but foolishly went the used CD route as oppose to grabbing the vinyl. While I do think that Silver Sweepstakes is probably the weakest album in Knapsack's catalog, it's still pretty great.
I have a Knapsack sticker that says "Committed To Dynamics" on it. That is a good summary of Knapsack's music. All of their songs keep a dynamic balance between gut wrenching emotion and sincerity with an aggressive guitar barrage. Some of my favorite songs on their debut have always been "Cellophane," "Casanova" and "Centennial." Vocalist Blair always knew just where to put in a satisfying gravely yell to really drive home the point.
If you hadn't heard Knapsack before, I'd encourage you to start with their best album "This Conversation Is Ending, Starting Right Now," but every record this band put out is worth owning. They played a reunion show in NYC a few months ago that was incredible. I can only hope that somehow leads to more records.
Kanpsack - "Casanova":
Knapsack - "Centennial":