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No Knife | Riot for Romance | review | rock | Lollipop

No Knife

Riot for Romance! (Better Looking)
by Tim Den

We almost lost No Knife back in '99, you know... when Tim Bomb Recordings went under? I can't even fathom rock without these guys. So it is with great joy that the San Diego quartet have decided to carry on in the form of Riot for Romance!, yet another output in the band's flawless career.

Everything we've come to know and love about No Knife is here: Samurai blade-sharp guitar slices, clever/danceable beats, angular riff-o-ramas, heartfelt crooning... all still utterly original, forever rhythmically inventive, always melodically surprising. We should know by now that No Knife's black-and-white verses blossom into Technicolor choruses (the title track, "Permanent for Now," "The Red Bedroom," "Flechette"), but it still knocks the wind out of me when a new batch of songs upholds that tradition. It's like entering an endless open field after being in a dark trench for the first minute-and-a-half. The transition is smooth, the impact overwhelming. It's like encountering a secret Eden every time a chorus comes up. Whew.

For the people who still view No Knife as an amalgamation of Gang of Four's aesthetics and indie rock's songwriting, please realize that the band is much more than the sum of its influences. No Knife are a band with unquestionable creativity, blessed with a gracefulness as original as it is affecting. May (indie) rock never lose them.
(11041 Santa Monica Blvd. PMB 302 Los Angeles, CA 90025)

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