Band – Crash Of Rhinos
Album – Knots
Label – Big Scary Monsters/Topshelf Records/To Lose La Track
The last review I wrote, which was for the new Jimmy Eat World record, was written whilst trying to cope with the sleepless nights our new baby daughter was putting us through. She’s 9 weeks old now and either she’s getting better at sleeping or we’re just getting used to the lack of rest, either way I think I can write this review with more of a clear mind. There have been several things I’ve wanted to write about recently, new bands/albums/gigs etc… And I will get to all of these eventually but this just had to come first, let me tell you for why.
Crash Of Rhinos are a band who like to make you wait, its been an age since they released their brilliant debut ‘Distal’ and their live shows are few and far between. But like your Nan would always says, ‘good things come to those who wait’. In this instance that phrase could be substituted with ‘Amazingly fucking great things come to those who’ve been desperately waiting for the new Crash of Rhinos record!!!’.
How often is it that you build up anticipation for a new record by some band and it meets all expectations? Well, ‘Knots’ is one of those rare records that not only meet those expectations but also blow those expectations apart. This is a monster of a record, I knew from the first listen that I would have trouble putting in to words that effect that the record is having on me. And just to say that its incredible will do it an injustice. I said before when reviewing Crash Of Rhinos that they are the best emo band from the UK since Spy vs Spy, but on the basis of ‘Knots’ you could argue that Crash Of Rhinos are one of the best emo bands ever, regardless of geography. I know you can get carried away when you first fall in love with a record, that love can fade and you’ll look back in a few years and have a totally different opinion on it. But I wanna tell you about this record now, I don’t wanna give it time, and at the moment I’m getting the same feeling listening to it that I did when I first heard ‘Mare Vitalis’ by Appleseed Cast.
You can easily draw comparisons with Appleseed Cast, a band who to me are one of the best emo bands ever. Both Crash Of Rhinos and Appleseed Cast write beautifully crafted songs, full of intricate details and emotion that can last over 6 minutes whilst never out staying their welcome. Crash Of Rhinos are more than just a lazy comparison with another band though and comparing them to Appleseed Cast won’t really help me to convey to you what to expect with this record.
‘Knots’ is a complete album, that is to say that it requires and demands your attention from beginning to end. It’s not an album with just a couple of great songs and then twenty minutes of filler. It’s also complete in the way that Crash Of Rhinos have really come in to their own with this record. There are less obvious influences on show here and fewer styles being played with, ‘Knots’ is Crash Of Rhinos being themselves and standing head and shoulders above the crowd because of this.
The opening song ‘Luck Has A Name’ sets the standard amazingly high but they never stray to far from this, the quality runs through the whole of the record. And that’s quality of songs and quality in the musicianship on display too. Crash Of Rhinos are a band full of accomplished musicians, they all compliment each other so well, knowing what is needed for the song at any one particular moment. The guitar work is intricate and interesting, the rhythm section is genuinely solid and the many vocals are always heartfelt. Combine this with the song writing and the absorbing production and you have one hell of a record. I really can’t say enough good things about ‘Knots’, I’d usually pick out my favourite songs and talk about them but that is very hard to do when they are all standout songs. I knew how much of a banger ‘Opener’ was as it was the first song to be streamed from the album, ‘Sum of all parts’ should be applauded simply for the reason of how much it rocks and ‘Lean out’ is a song that leaves me absolutely spellbound, its jaw-droppingly good! I could have mentioned any of the songs though, there isn’t one that doesn’t fit in or lets the album down and although this is quite a long album, listening to it from beginning to end is the only option you have.
I was driving along listening to ‘Knots’ and for some reason the idea that this album is the emo ‘OK Computer’ came in to my head. ‘Knots’ sounds nothing like ‘OK Computer’ but I think it is a game changer. The same way that Radiohead went from being a good band to a legendary band with that one record, I see Crash Of Rhinos doing no less. Hopefully they won’t now go on to make weirdy dance shit records (best Radiohead description, ever) instead just concentrating on making some of the best music I’ve heard in the last 10 years like they do here on ‘Knots’. That’s right, I said its some of the best music I’ve heard in the last 10 years, trust me it really is that good.
Crash of Rhinos will be supporting Braid on their UK tour, I’ll be seeing them play London on my birthday and literally cannot wait, don’t you miss out!!!
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