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Religious Knives, "Bind Them / Electricity and Air"

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Beefed up to a more rhythmic trio for this release, Religious Knives do their best work so far as part of the so far untouchable No Fun Rotten LP series. Mouthus’ Nate Nelson joins Maya Miller and Mike Bernstein in bringing a secular adhan audience to a matinee horror performance.

No Fun Productions

These three players combine dissimilar elements to create something outside of even the most ‘-‘ and ‘/’ peppered genre classification. Bernstein’s guitar initially seems like it isn’t even there but the more I listen the more it seems to be the glue between the synth melodies and the drums. It’s most easily identified in “Electricity and Air”s rhythmic feedback gonglike sounds but plays a low-key low-end role throughout.

It may be the percussion that swells and morphs throughout Side A’s single track “Bind Them” but it’s the organ notes that takes most of my attention with it. Like a heavens searching theme from some old school sci-fi there is a spacey serenity that drags a Middle Eastern melody into the lower atmosphere. The melody progresses through velvet curtain aural penny dreadfuls to the sounds of heavy winds through desert shacks. The accompanying analogue rhythmic patter weaves new patterns making intermittently distracting tunnels of counter melodies.

The second side flips the first side’s priorities this time bringing the beats into prominence. “Electricity and Air” might rely on first impressions with Maya Miller’s elongated synth pieces but the drumming soon takes over. Nate Nelson begins to flow more easily sounding more organic and heavier as his factory found drumming gets lower, freer and deeper. Loosely played strings of bells and chain percussion emphasize the forest campfire at midnight chants that moan just under the comprehension radar. The addition of Nelson and his drums undeniably take the Religious Knives mixture of synthesized prescription drones up a level. As the beat slows down like the last ebb of blood from shattered skull to pavement the guitar follows. Strings are clawed creating an engorging sharp-toothed muddle of sound that fades into black.

The only minor let down is the lack of Maya Miller artwork, but after a few listens to this release the bleak Rorschach look really suits it. There is plenty to read into and get out of the expanded Knives experience.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 February 2011 10:20  


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