Review Summary: “dubstep with some chick rapping”
Whatever common sense I possess is telling me that I should despise Five Knives’ debut EP, The Rising
. I really should; it’s trashy as hell and a lot of things about it should be god-awful. The video for lead single “All Fall Down” depicts the band in some sort of neo-punk-industrial roller-derby-to-the-death setting, and its attempt at “edgy” is sure to hit home with a very specific fanbase considered odious to many: young teenagers ready to rage, fully decked out in drug-filled Camelbaks and neon bras, will most likely eat the image up, and it’s doubtful many others will want to enjoy this much. Plus, much of the music is pretty damn cheesy and annoying. Look no further than “Messin With My Mind,” the one song off the EP for which Sputnikmusic user TrstN01 is in the ballpark with his description of the band, used as the summary for the review. The song is the worst side of the EDM outbreak in America - repetitive, boring wobbles, obnoxious-as-f**k rapping, and one of the worst choruses I’ve heard in quite some time.
At the same time, though, there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on that’s alluring and addictive about the whole thing. Maybe it’s the fact that this smacks of some of my favorite parts of synthpop, sounding like the kick-ass side of groups like Shiny Toy Guns and Innerpartysystem. Maybe it’s that lead single “All Fall Down,” despite the junky music video, is actually one of my favorite songs I’ve heard in some time. I don’t really care that it’s incredibly trashy - the annoying wub-like noises create a far better complement to lead singer Anna Worstell’s yelling than anyone could have anticipated. And maybe it’s just that, even given some horrible lyrics and horrible instrumentation scattered throughout the album, this is an exciting release from a young band full of life. It’s rough around the edges in the perfect way, and the sheer amount of energy on the whole thing should come close to flooring the listener. All in all, it’s not totally surprising that what seems abhorrent should be acceptable and even exciting - with these amounts of bubbling-over-the-top energy and kick-ass, almost anything is possible - even a solid debut like this.