Nov 2021 30

News BannerUnion of Knives
Album: Endless From the Start
Category: Electronic / Alternative
Label: Disco Piñata
Release Date: 2021-11-12


Chris Gordon has certainly kept busy as a prominent songwriter and producer in the 14 years since Union of Knives’ last release; with drummer Peter Kelly and fellow vocalist Anthony Thomaz back onboard, Endless From the Start sees the Glaswegian group not only picking up right where they left off, but perfectly timed with the current waves of post-punk revivalism starting to veer closer toward a darker and more alt. rock sensibility. There were many moments on the record that this writer was honestly questioning if Steve Lillywhite hadn’t shadow-produced it along with Gordon – songs like “A Moth that Found a Flame,” “Whispering on the Curves” with its celestial synths and pensive violin phrases, and “Minneapolis” with its shimmering keyboard hook all recall the ambient expansiveness of bands like U2, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, or Big Country, only with the guitars replaced by percolating synths and gritty bass tones for a fresher feel. All the while, the vocals are presented with a soulful, almost processional vibrancy that one can’t help but think of Bono at his most spiritually charged; this is especially so on a song like “An Animal,” the trippy and almost ethnic layers of arpeggios, skittering electronics, and abrasive drums transporting this writer back to the heady days of Zooropa, while the subtle shift between major and minor key that permeates the opening “There’s a River,” along with its bellowing bass, understated electronics, and passionate vocals is sure to remind some of Talking Heads. “Like Butterflies” has an almost ‘80s R&B pop flair, particularly in its engaging melody that is almost impossible not to sing along with, the bouncy synths and percussion aided by a clean, plucking guitar that feels somehow reminiscent of David Rhodes’ funky minimalism. Ladytron’s Helen Marnie makes an appearance on “A Tall Tale,” her disaffected and slightly robotic tone amid shrill feedback and reverberant synths making for one of the album’s most wonderful moments as the song ends with repetitions of “Who am I?,” while her slightly more melodic though no less saccharine delivery on “A Little Life” adds to what should be a dance floor hit with its powerful shuffle beat. Peter Kelly’s expressive drums stand out on virtually every track, only serving to rhythmically absorb the listener in the album’s wayfaring atmosphere. As stated, Endless From the Start seems to be arriving at that perfect moment in the musical zeitgeist when the nostalgia for that late ‘70s/early ‘80s period of post-punk pre-alt. rock is ready to evolve in some other directions… what those directions will be, who can really say? But if Endless From the Start is any indication, Union of Knives have a few good ideas on how to get there.
Track list:

  1. There’s a River
  2. High on Account of 0
  3. A Moth that Found a Flame
  4. A Tall Tale
  5. An Animal
  6. Like Butterflies
  7. Whispering on the Curves
  8. Something in Your Rhythm
  9. A Little Life
  10. Minneapolis
  11. Close

Union of Knives
Website, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube
Disco Piñata
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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