Knapsack
Day Three Of My New Life


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
March 27th, 2011 | 26 replies | 7,284 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


5 of 5 thought this review was well written

If I could rate Knapsack as a band rather than their individual albums they would surely be in my top tier. Each one of their full-lengths is an album you find yourself liking. Yeah, that’s it, just liking, at first. Well, this is me, at least. Until one sunny afternoon or some bullshit like that, you realize you’ve played This Conversation Is Ending Right Now to death, an infinite amount of times and it feels even fucking fresher, more memorable and distinct than when you first laid ears on it a year ago. Blair Shehan’s gritty vocals are so utterly grimy and imperfect, but you don’t go long without singing along to “Decorate the Spine” or something, it just doesn’t happen. This is Knapsack as a band though, we haven’t even gotten as far as Day Three of My New Life yet, thanks to my fittingly lackadaisical reviewing.

First though, it’d be helpful to gain a better grasp on the band. Remember the days of early 90’s emocore... of Rites of Spring, Embrace, Other Obvious Namedrop, those bands? Me neither, but we wish we did, don’t we? Anyway, Knapsack is a sad representative of the bastard spawn of that era. One of the many, I might add. Before pussy shit like American Football and after pussy shit like The Get Up Kids became the norm for the genre, Knapsack was balancing on the thin line, maintaining the invigorating energy of emo while incorporating the friendlier, indie aesthetic of more digestible influences. They weren’t alone by a long shot-- Texas Is The Reason, Mineral, Braid, Christie Front Drive, and a million other bands were doing more or less the exact same thing next door. Thing was, Knapsack basically perfected it. They might not be sharing the limelight with aforementioned bands, but Knapsack’s music was a lot more fun than said bands, anyway: louder than Texas Is The Reason, catchier than Mineral, more fun than Braid. Chugging guitars, equally emotional and nonsensical song names and lyrics, and a vocalist you weren’t sure whether to bow down to or just shake your head in pity at (either way, it’s memorable), Knapsack defined the middle ground stuck between catharsis and catchiness. They were the late 90’s bastard of earlier emo bands.

And yet, Day Three of My New Life is a disappointment in ways. It’s like Knapsack only had a set amount of dynamism for their record, and chose to spend it all on the first four songs only instead of divvying it up. Fuck, I don’t blame them. If the dull, monotony of “Henry Hammers Harder” and “Boxing Gloves” is the sacrifice for the orgasmic perfection of “Thursday Side of the Street,” you’ve got yourself a deal, Shehan and company. The liveliness of each throat-groggling, bright, anthem that graces the beginning of Day Three of My New Life is enough is enough to warrant as many duds as they’d like further on. Well, not really, but it’s difficult not to think so at times. Forgive Knapsack for their flaws on their second full-length... for making one of the most unbalanced records ever, for losing their early, abundant energy, and for inevitably causing you to lose your voice the day before your philosophy presentation (uncontrollably singing along to “Thursday Side Of The Street” and scorching your throat, of course). Cut ‘em a break. They haven’t quite reached their consistent potential of This Conversation, but they’re showcasing some of their best here. Or, you could just listen to the first four songs off of Day Three of My New Life, remember that Knapsack are a genre-defining little group from California, and scream your lungs out to
”He says, thanks for coming home,
If not for the bar i'd spend my life aloooone,”

Not sure why, I just love that line. Most of them, for that matter.



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user ratings (48)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
March 27th 2011



19923 Comments


average rating for this is surprisingly high considering This Conversation is clearly better, I think. oh well, I'm not complaining.

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2011



6987 Comments


great review, pos. probably won't be picking this up though.

SeaAnemone
March 27th 2011



19923 Comments


thanks-- and why not? out of curiosity

tom79
March 27th 2011



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album. Even better than This Conversation.

Digging: David Dondero - South of the South

americanmusicmachine
March 27th 2011



3953 Comments


god i love "thursday side of the street"

SeaAnemone
March 27th 2011



19923 Comments


yeh "Thursday Side of the Street" might be my favorite Knapsack song... either that or "Hummingbirds" or "Change Is All The Rage"

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2011



6987 Comments


thanks-- and why not? out of curiosity



cause id probably spend too much of my rather aimless life listening to it. yep im a weird one.

bungy
March 27th 2011



8843 Comments


that is the stupidest reason I have ever fucking heard

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2011



6987 Comments


that is the worst reason I have ever heard


thanks for that. how about i should find something more constructive for me to do rather than float around this site adding next to pointless comments.



bungy
March 27th 2011



8843 Comments


such eloquence

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
March 27th 2011



6987 Comments


and you really didn't need to edit that.

iFghtffyrdmns
March 27th 2011



7047 Comments


Sea you sneaky bastard, bumping it from a 3.5 up to a 4.
JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I CAUGHT YOU AND THAT IT DOESN'T MATTER A DAMN BUT I WANNA BE OUTSPOKEN ABOUT MY OBSERVANT TROLLING SKILLS OKAY

SeaAnemone
March 27th 2011



19923 Comments


haha yeah... I noticed that my personal rating was a 4 and decided that that was more appropriate

Romulus
March 27th 2011



8423 Comments


this sounds like a band that i would enjoy

Irving
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7163 Comments


Commenting so ERIC DOESN'T FORGET ME AND ENDS UP GIVING ME A REALLY LOW SEED THE NEXT TIME HE RUNS SPUTNIK'S MARCH MADNESS.

Solid review. The gratuitous cursing threw me off a bit but hey prose was effective. Also, the formatting in that last paragraph is a bit wonky, but oh well. Pos.

SeaAnemone
March 27th 2011



19923 Comments


haha solid strategy there Irving ; )

wabbit
March 27th 2011



6984 Comments


great review I like this almost as much as Conversation. Never really thought of this band as a emo band before though, but w/e.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2011



7163 Comments


haha solid strategy there Irving ; )

Short of offering naked bodies a la JWT, this is the best I could do ;)

ConsiderPhlebas
March 28th 2011



6157 Comments


pussy shit like American Football

Enotron
March 28th 2011



7695 Comments


american football is all about the music though, lyrics might as well be hummed



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