Album Review: Knifeworld – “Home of The Newly Departed”
The psychedelic behemoth that is Knifeworld have returned with Home of the Newly Departed, an album mostly comprised of two previously released out of print EPs (Dear Lord No Deal and Clairvoyant Fortnight), remastered and resequenced for our sonic delight. Purportedly the missing link between 2009’s Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat and 2014’s The Unravelling, this is a triumphant collection which is well worth picking up if you missed the original releases.
Opener Pilot Her immediately gives a nod to frontman Kavus’s previous employers Cardiacs, with its choppy guitars and organ reminiscent of tracks like Too Many Irons In The Fire. This perhaps isn’t surprising, though it’d be unfair to dismiss Knifeworld as mere Cardiacs wannabes – in many respects this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Take second track Dear Lord No Deal for example. This is a beautiful two-minute ride which harks back to early pop-psychedelia, not dissimilar to that produced in recent years by bands like The Dowling Poole. Clairvoyant Fortnight moves into catchier territory, though you’ll still find plenty of unusual moments to keep you on your toes. Lyrically this is an interesting one too, examining the difference (or lack thereof) between forms of belief, supernatural or otherwise.
Happy Half-Life is in many respects the odd-one out on this album as the only track not to be taken from either EP. Originally a B-side to Knifeworld’s debut single Pissed Up On Brake Fluid, you can certainly hear the difference, despite the remastering. As well as being less expansive, this is a more sinister and brooding affair, a great contrast to the rhythmic fun of the next track, In A Foreign Way.
The epic HMS Washout closes the album in style. With a run-time of over 14 minutes, this track lacks nothing in ambition. It’s unconventional, progressive and hugely atmospheric, taking in a wide range of avante-garde rock and pop styles throughout its duration.
To quote Clairvoyant Fortnight “I dig your voodoo and I dig your vibe” - this is certainly true of how I feel about Knifeworld. Their psychedelic charms are always a delight, and this collection is no exception. While it doesn't flow quite as nicely as The Unravelling, this is a must have for fans if you missed the original releases, or if you're a newcomer looking for something musically creative and exciting.