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Knells, The: The Knells

The Knells are a Brooklyn based band that take elements of prog rock, blues, psychedelia, classical, ambient, jazz, post rock and a few other genres I have probably missed and weave their own concoction they call "neo-psychedelic chamber prog". That sure is a mouthful and probably an apt description.

The band was formed by guitarist Andrew McKenna Lee who has a diverse background having played with the likes of Billy Idol and Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) and has delved extensively into classical music. Joining Lee are Nina Berman (vocals), Amanda Gregory (vocals), Katya Powder (vocals), Paul Orbell (guitar), Michael McCurdy (drums), Joseph Higgins (bass) and a five piece string quartet.

The album begins with "Airlift" and its excellent interwoven guitar lines with an almost twangy feel. The drum fills are complex with nice musicianship displayed between guitar and drums. The tune becomes quite different once the lush vocals start and takes on an orchestral feel. "Thread" has a very dreamy sound and borders on the avant-garde. The choir style vocals are lush and dramatic with beguiling harmonies between the three sopranos. "Fray" has vocals up front in the mix creating a wall of sound enhanced by the five piece orchestra. The vocals take on a Middle Eastern vibe near songs end. The blending of acoustic and electric guitars in the instrumental "Dying In Waves" is really interesting giving the tune a folky/classical vibe. The other instrumental "Spiral Proem" is more of an ambient/post rock affair. I did find the instrumentals provided a nice break as the vocals do tend to dominate some of the songs. It is hard to fault the band though as the vocals are extremely well done and certainly outside the norm.

For something a little outside the box The Knells might be an interesting discovery for you. This is definitely a band to be on the lookout for.

Track Listing:
1. Airlift
2. Thread
3. Fray
4. Dying In Waves
5. Distance
6. Synchromesh
7. Seethe
8. Dissolve
9. Spiral Proem
10. Spiral Knells

Added: March 2nd 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1858
Language: english

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