Yes, I believe the name references a “Simpson’s” episode. And the band’s MySpace page (myspace.com/knifeyspoonie) rocks some Rambo imagery. So, two points for this Bloomington-based band right out of the box, and we haven’t even heard a note yet. As Knifey Spoonie bust into the non-family-friendly “Phantom S****er” (asterisks mine) from their debut, it’s clear that the name inexplicably fits like a glove.
The cheap nickel tour: On this tune, KS play full-contact foosball with the Minutemen, while classic Fall albums dance in their heads. Punk? Yeah, maybe. But this song calls to mind a better time when “punk” meant so much more than faux-hawks, eyeliner and cha-ching cashflow from video game soundtrack placement. In other words, this is the real deal, and it’s better than mainlining coffee. “Battlefield” slows down the pace and completely changes the landscape. Nearly crooning vocals dance atop dinosaur drums, and riffs tumble and scrape. And “In Hot Pursuit” bumps up the energy while maintaining a Fugazi-meets-vintage-Pavement vibe. Then there’s the rough, ready and rootsy “My Winchester,” which rolls with a perfect blend of proto-punk attitude and country-fried swagger.
What do you make of a band that veers from atonal, barked vocals to post-punk angularity to indie-friendly melodies? No, don’t put KS completely into the Pavement box. They’re not interested in outgrowing their sandbox just yet, but this is just the debut. What these guys do best right now is bust out combustible rhythms, play minimalist, unadorned guitar parts (D. Boon would be proud) and defy the sensibilities of the Starbucks crowd at every turn. Witness the Naked Raygun-baked minimalism of the closer, “No Regrets,” and be simultaneously scorched and entertained by the tightly wound energy coming off of this combo.
Lesson: Bring a spoon to a knife fight and you just might confuse the other guy enough to turn the tables. (DM Jones)
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