Review Summary: Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen join the long list of musicians who have sacrificed their true talent and potential for something that the masses will eat up while it's popular.
If this is indeed what Pendulum's fourth album would have sounded like, thank god Pendulum broke up. Seriously, could you imagine the mess that Pendulum would have turned into had they gone with the "in" style, by that I mean the sound of incredibly distorted sounding synths and constant wubs? I mean, to disband with the band who made you who you are is one thing, but to sacrifice it all for something completely not on par with you've put out in then past shows that you only care about what the kids will connect with nowadays.
I won't preface this review with the obligatory "I've been a pendulum fan since before Rob Swire was born", because every time I read one of those, I immediately have the urge to borrow somebody's violin and start playing the saddest sounding tune ever. However, I will say that after hearing Rage Valley EP
, and reading Swire's comments about how people weren't connecting with DNB anymore, sadly I can confirm that they think that the kids need more wubs, which is why they've ditched it all for Knife Party. While Rage Valley EP
is mercifully short at 4 songs long, sadly none of it sounds creative, or exciting even. It sounds like every single brostep/house song on the top 40 radio nowadays.
If there is one upside to the album, It's "Sleaze", the final track on this mess. It does take a while to get going with its Jaws-inspired intro and samples from the Star Wars score, but once the mantra of "Until they kick us out, until they kick us out, until they kick us out people move your feet
" kicks in, it turns into a pretty fun dance tune. The song itself is rather repetitive, but isn't all electronic music nowadays? Sadly, none of the other songs on the EP compare. "Centipede" sounds like your typical generic dubstep tune you hear on the top 40 radio stations, and I don't completely hate dubstep- in fact, a number of groups play it on their instruments and it sounds pretty darned cool there. But the bro-sounding synth and lazy electronic drumbeat doesn't take long to grate on your nerves, and it doesn't help matters that it takes forever for the voice clip at the beginning to finish to get to the "bass drop". Which leaves us with the other two tracks. "Bonfire" would have been enjoyable had it not sounded like a poor man's dubstep version of "Tarantula" (one of Pendulum's biggest hits), and the eponymous track is yet another reminder of the mess that Swire and McGrillen sadly have become.
Uncreative, boring, bland, and worst of all, unmemorable, Knife Party's Rage Valley EP
is the sound of two creative musicians selling out, and sacrificing their talent for what seems to be "in" nowadays. It doesn't have me feeling anything but rather hope that Knife Party is hopefully just Swire and McGrillen's "Chris Gaines" phase, and that they'll return to awesomeness with the band who made them who they are.