Jeff's Staff Pick: September 15, 2022

What’s up Sorry Staters?

Last night was my new band Meat House’s first gig. It was a blast, but as I’m writing this, I am feeling ROUGH from many beers and lack of sleep. But man, Save Our Children and Stunted Youth both fuckin’ ripped! It was a fun gig for sure.

Currently, while I’m here recovering at the store, I’m hanging with Dom and listening to this new Long Knife LP on full blast. Over the years, I’ve definitely been digging Long Knife records here and there. I remember jamming their first LP Wilderness when it first came out like 7 or 8 years ago now, but not really giving proper attention to their records that followed. But now, listening to their new record, charmingly titled Curb Stomp Earth, I feel like I’m listening to dudes who are seasoned with the finest spices from the cabinet. It almost seems silly, but these dudes really sound like fuckin’ pros. I don’t know if “ambitious” is the right word, but this record is dripping with vibe and unexpected moments. Between the choir providing a pronouncement of an intro, piano interludes, and a horn section adding some flavor to the mix, it’s clear that Long Knife is a hardcore band unafraid to take some chances. There’s crazy stuff all over this record. I found myself laughing and shaking my head when a spooky organ out of a Scooby Doo episode has a little solo section. But then the next track kicks in and I’m reminded that I’m listening to an insanely ripping hardcore record. It’s wild.

I mean, the playing is killer… crispy, perfect guitar tone, the bass player is tearing it up, the drums are tight and powerful, and the singer is a total character, like the second coming of Jerry A. Long Knife is from Portland, and there’s obvious nods to later Poison Idea all over this record. I mean, some of the dudes were in that band Fetish with Thee Slayer Hippy. But this record goes beyond trying to do a band that is as “rockin” Poison Idea. I can’t decide if I think all of the accoutrement is over the top and corny… or if this record is totally genius. Normally, I would say keep all this extraneous crap out of my hardcore, but I just feel like Long Knife pulls it off somehow. You know that scene in Walk Hard where Dewey Cox is in the studio and says “10,000 more didgeridoos—an army of didgeridoos!”? It’s almost like I can’t figure out whether Long Knife is out of their mind like Dewey Cox or if they’re actually making the Pet Sounds of hardcore. The presentation and packaging is indulgent too, with a movie poster featuring all the credits on the record. So it does kinda feel like a little “nudge nudge” and that the band is in on the joke. Either that or they literally just do not give a fuck. In my imagination, it’s somewhere between all the dudes really knowing their way around the studio, dialing in a Marshall perfectly, and demanding only the best orchestra in town to appear on their album—OR it’s just a bunch of dudes goofing around, like, “Dude, wouldn’t it be insane if we had a choir open the record?” and everyone in the band laughing about it. Either way, I found myself raging to this record, if not also feeling a bit confused. I mean, you know, in a good way.

Anyway, I suggest you check this new Long Knife record out. I don’t know if I can muster the energy to write anything else. So that’s all I’ve got. As always, thanks for reading.

‘Til next week,


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