It's all about getting to that place where you can sit back and contemplate the simpler things in life, like loss, pain and death. Of course, a good soundtrack is crucial. Knife In The Water are based out of Austin, and although they share a love of the dark side with a lot of their fellow Texans (American Analog Set, Bedhead, etc.), they consistently get lumped into the alt.country/Americana category. But that is not the whole story by far.
Bill McCullough supplies the haunting pedal steel flourishes that fit perfectly with the spooky desert guitar of Aaron Blount and the weepy Hammond organ of Laura Krause. When Blount opens his mouth to sing though, out comes a melodic sound totally devoid of any of the traditional twang, and the harmonizing with Krause is a thing of beauty. The rhythm section of bassist Mark Nathan and drummer Cisco Ryder get the tight but lazy groove going and - as with the rest of the band - know exactly when enough is too much.
Formed in 1997 they have two critically acclaimed albums to their credit and although this EP stands up well on its own, it merely whets your appetite for the full length to come. The opening chords of "From the Catbird Seat" hint at different direction - possibly more into a psychedelic pop realm but this doesn't last long. "Exploding Seagulls" slows the pace down and wraps itself around a gorgeous melody with everybody adding just the right restrained touches. "A Lesson" follows along the same vein with a slight Grateful Deadish feel. "Crosshair Chapel" and "When Trouble Goes to Seed" slow it down further, but again those melodies haunt just right. By this time they have backed you down into the hole, all you want to do is start shooting your way out. Or perhaps you'll enjoy it and will just wait for the full length to make you hit the bottom.
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- Howard Biggar, CHSR Radio, Fredericton, NB
By Howard Biggar
Jun 25, 2002