KNIFEFIGHT: Self-Titled: CD

Bummer, dude. These guys bounce between multi-vocalled screamo, straight-up hardcore numbers, and instrumental keyboard-driven space rock jams a la fuckin’ Cave In or something. It’s actually really, really good stuff for the most part, until you hit the packaging. Unfortunately, everything then becomes colored by the fact that there are multiple lyrical references to fire, “God above,” and being reborn, and in the thank you list they give props to both God and their “church homes.” I won’t even get started about that ugly hotbed debate of the creeping influx of Christianity in the hardcore scene, but if you’re like me and tend to veer far, far away from bands who make mention of their religious beliefs in their music, take a step back from this one. And for every schlub who says something to the effect of, “Dude, if the music’s good, what’s the big deal?” let me note that that’s just as stupid and beside-the-point as listening to bands like Contra and Rambo just “for the music.” Their lyrical content, barbed and political, is what constitutes much of those bands’ identities. And the same thing goes for Knifefight: fact is, if you sing about “someone rising out of the darkness” while you reference God and church in your liner notes, it’s gonna get noted one way or the other. For me, it’s just something I can’t look past.

 –keith (Arkam)