Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sweet Knives - S/T LP - Gold Vinyl (/500)


Big Neck (2017)

I was pretty excited to receive a pack of records from Big Neck to review.  The one that immediately jumped out at me was by Sweet Knives.  Something about the band name and the bright yellow artwork.  After reading a bit about them, it was interesting to learn that Sweet Knives spawned belatedly from the ashes of the Memphis based band Lost Sounds, familiar to some as one of the myriad of bands that Jay Reatard was in prior to his stint on Matador.  In fact, Sweet Knives are playing songs from the Lost Sounds catalog and are even named after a Lost Sounds song.

Where Lost Sounds were known for their dark synthy punk, Sweet Knives has brightened things up to wonderful results.  Sure, there's a little synth percolating here and there, but this is a guitar rock record through and through.  The album showcases the songwriting chops of Lost Sounds and really showcases a mastery of pop hooks that may not have been immediately recognizable when cluttered by some of the distorted synth chaos and Jay's manic vocals in Lost Sounds.  

Things are a bit more subdued with Sweet Knives and to my ears, it's a rousing success. With Alicja Trout handling the vocal duties the band is able to show a broader range of emotions and moods.  Songs like "Isolation-Deprivation" come close to sounding vulnerable when lighter vocals mix with the fuzzy guitar to craft one of the albums many highlights. 

I liked most of the bands Jay Reatard was involved in to some extent.  I can't say that Lost Sounds was my favorite band he was involved in as I tended to favor his poppier solo stuff.  Sweet Knives, however, is much more up my alley and was a really great surprise.  I recommend checking it out regardless of your feelings on Lost Sounds, these songs more than stand on their own.

Sweet Knives - S/T LP:

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