Review Summary: Excellent music from New Zealand.
Cairo Knife Fight are a New Zealand duo that blast groovy, stoner influenced, hard rock in a more or less Queens Of The Stone Age meets Led Zeppelin manner. So far, the band has released two EPs, Cairo Knife Fight II
being more developed and definitory of their sound than the self-titled debut . Both guitarist Aaron Tokona and drummer Nick Gaffaney loop their instruments to achieve a fuller sound by overdubbing guitar layers or adding keyboards, respectively. This is one of those bands that blows you away live, having more impact than listening to them at home. Nevertheless, this EP has a lot to offer in its 24-minute span.
Opener "The Violence Of Action" starts with a looped riff churning for two minutes, when it suddenly breaks into a massive groovy hook. Clocking at over 8 minutes long, the track features several feedback detours and mood changes keeping the listener connected. Rob's malleable voice goes from falsetto akin to Josh Homme, maybe even higher sometimes to a lower octave really suiting the song (and the others too). The entire song can be reduced lyrically to the chorus that says "no one gives a damn what you want", and the music only adds to that. While "The Violence Of Action" is definitely a grower, thus being harder to digest on a first listen, second track and first single, "The Origin Of Slaves", might be the catchiest and most radio-friendly song here. The track features both members singing greatly shifting vocals timbres from verses to choruses. Again featuring to-the-point grooves, "The Origin Of Slaves", starts with an industrial influence from the processed beats and bass synths to a straightforward ripping finale, while maintaining a guitar-heavy sound. Their whole music revolves around a massive wall of looped guitars.
Third song, "The Opiate Of The Living", which musically reflects the title has a mid-tempo, almost eerie sound. Nick Gaffaney's voice takes a more desperate yet restrained sound, giving way to the guitars to carry the whole song towards the end fusing with a nice, psychedelic synth. The last two minutes of the song feature a reversed delay taking over, while the drums and the other guitar layers slowly fade out. The last track, "The Secrets Of Sin", is a raw fuzz drenched number that features a lot of twists and turns over the course of its 4 and a half minutes, but it sounds rather confusing at times, going several directions, only to return to the main groove towards the end. Still, it's not a bad song and it doesn't drag the EP down at all.
Unfortunately, being only a EP there's not enough material to get your fix on, but what is found here will make you put Cairo Knife Fight II
on repeat. A great start for Cairo Knife Fight and any fan of hard rock should give this a spin.