I adore Knight School.
As some people may know, my old label, released their debut LP back at the start of 2009 (which is nearly sold out, fact fans).
Fast forward 18 months and the band have a full length vinyl LP released on Make A Mess Records. The template is similar to what has gone before; with a smattering of addictive choruses mixed with buzzy guitars and some top notch lo-fi pop. A few of the songs sound a little fuller than they did on the old Lostmusic release but that doesn’t signal a huge change of direction, more of a progression from what has come before. And it probably nods at the fact that this record is more of a combined effort between band members Kevin Alvir and Chris Balla than the first record, which from my understanding was more of a Kevin solo kinda thing. Either way, as progressions go I like it and it is really good to finally hear Knight School blasting out from a nice slab of vinyl. Some of the songs are little more low key this time around – but this more strummy jangle pop is working really well for me.
The album has only had a few spins but it was something of an instant hit to these ears.
Someone should get this band over to the UK because I really, and I mean REALLY wanna see them play live.
Links: Knight School | Make A Mess Records
This 12″ self titled LP is out of print in physical format.Luckily I was on the ball for once and I have managed to snag a copy. But if you missed out the release is still available digitally. And make no mistake this is well worth picking up. This three piece from San Francisco are a special proposition. As is befitting a band that have also released a self titled EP on Captured Tracks this is rattling guitar pop music where echo and reverb are key to the mix.
After a few listens I have to say I think Grass Widow have made one of the LPs of the year. Jangly guitars bubble to the surface – ‘Green Screen’ starts with gentle voices before rumbling drums tumble out of the speakers and galloping guitars burst out. The Mo-dettes are sure to be a reference point and therefore, by default, so are Lichtenstein. ‘To Where’ is all about crunchy guitars that are wrapped in a mesmerising pop tune that ends up sounding like a cross between Dinosaur Jr and the Vivian Girls. Bands like Grass Widow seem to join the dots between the post-punk sounds of The Mo-dettes and both ends of the C86 spectrum – with jangle aplenty and a slightly more challenging sound going on too. All in all, the band are one of best of the current crop at what they do.
Links: Grass Widow |emusic