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Long Knives - This Is Your Life

AKelly   (133 reviews)

Posted: 05/17/2015 | Comments: 0 | Rate:

This is Your Life is the debut EP from Oakland California's Long Knives. Although they're on a label that has gotten much attention for being the home to notable emo bands such as Free Throw and Empire! Empire!, I think Long Knives is a band that strays from the "emo revival" sound (whatever that means). To me, they're closer to the Jimmy Eat World side of the spectrum rather than the twinkly American Football-type stuff. If anything, I'd describe them as a pop-punk band mixed with indie rock flavors but what do I know? Genres are weird. Bottom line is that this is a solid EP from a band with lots of potential.

The first track "Bones" kicks off with a head-bobbingly satisfying dual guitar part and manages to not lose any energy or get less memorable throughout. The chorus in this track is the first taste of the male/female vocal harmonies which I would come to enjoy in the rest of the songs as well. At first listen I thought it was interesting that a band like this could have an upbeat sound with lyrics like "I'm here/having the worst year" and not sound like a boring American Football ripoff. I'm glad they didn't choose to sound like that since there's already enough of those bands out there.

"Unwelcome Guest" is another quick one in terms of tempo that's based around a pretty simple-yet-effective 4 chord progression. The chorus in this song is my favorite of the EP. This song made me realize the interesting dynamics that the band plays off of. The start-stop feel in the second verse makes it clear that the band knows how to keep things interesting for the listener. The end gets a little more complicated with an interesting oddly timed passage and a shift in dynamics. It then builds up into one final chorus.

"Home" shows the band in a slower, tender, more reserved state. The male/female vocal harmonies were especially memorable on this track in my opinion. This happens to be the shortest track on the EP, and it'll be over before you realize it or want it to since it's so catchy.

I think if someone wanted one song to check out in order to get a feel for what this band sounds like, it'd be the closer "Bastante." You have upbeat choruses with great melodies and lush chords, some interesting dynamic choices, and great guitar parts. Although I thought this was as strong as the other songs, I was hoping for a bit of a more definite ending. I feel like this could have been just a song leading into another rather than a definitive ending on an EP.

There's a lot to like from this debut from Long Knives and the band certainly shows potential in terms of songwriting and musicianship. Even though I enjoyed this EP a lot, there are a few problems I had with it. To me, the vocals could be stronger and at points get off-pitch. It's not a huge deal and you'll only notice if you're really listening intently, but that is something that could be improved. There were also a few instances I thought the band could tighten up a bit.

Overall, this is a very solid debut EP worth checking out if you like anything under the indie rock/pop-punk/emo/whatever umbrella.

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