Know What ?: Reviews of Recent Releases by Local Bands, Pt. 117
Knowso – Specialtronics / Green Vision – Drunken Sailor Records – 10 songs – LP, digital
On the heels of last summer’s two EPs (which are now also available on a convenient 12 “disc courtesy of Drunken Sailor – recommended by this reviewer), Knowso, restored to their Nathan Ward three-piece line , Jayson Gerycz and Adam Zegarac, released a full album. Musically it follows the sound of the last few releases – staccato, kind of choppy songs with Nathan delivering most of the lyrics in monotone, some Devo influence (I really hate to say that because I’m fully aware that every writer of worthless music compares any Ohio band to Devo whether they sound similar or not, but Knowso is the only band that really does have to. my press card! Oh wait, I don’t have one. The main thing that stands out here is that Nathan’s words, while never particularly cheerful, sound particularly dark throughout most of this di sque. Right from the start with “Sea Of Tranquility” which is perhaps the most depressed sound I’ve ever heard from the guy (up there with “King Of Things”, but at least this one establishes some sort of story “me against the world”). On the two main tracks, “Specialtronics” and “Green Vision”, as well as on “Sad Dream”, there is a tone of general loathing of the world. I love the lines from “Digital God” on “why do birds think it’s morning when it’s dark / why birds / why I” – simple, but very effective. That’s not to say the band has in any way given up on their unique sense of humor – the scathing anti-religion “Prophecy” has a refrain of “I say lobotomize the guy!” and most of the lyrics for “Peaceful and Extinct” are taken from Led Zeppelin’s “Over The Hills And Far Away” (I knew they were very familiar, but I had to look them up to remember which song it s. ‘was acting – I’ I’m sure Buzz College would be very disappointed with me for having to). It ends on a kind of high note, however, with “Open Up The Book” being the most lyrical optimistic of the bunch, to my ears anyway, although musically it’s one of the more menacing sounds here. My problem is, I really like most of these songs one by one, but when they appear in a sequence (an album is usually a sequence of songs, as you might know) it gets a bit the same. It doesn’t take away from the fun, but I can hear a riff in my head and look at the lyrics sheet (which I’m very glad it was included – I’d still love to get the lyrics from “Look At The Chart” EP at one point) and not being able to match the song I’m thinking of. Still, you can’t tell they don’t have their own distinct sound, and again, I still thought that was pretty darn good. 3.5 / 5
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