Far From Tangled
31 Knots released Talk Like Blood in 2005 on Polyvinyl Records, an auspicious entry for another stellar Portland-based band. Most comparable to the quasi-prog leanings of The Mars Voltaâ€šÃ„Ã®only perhaps bent a bit more towards an indie rock soundâ€šÃ„Ã®Talk Like Blood perfected a delicate balance of high-minded rock artistry and tuneful aggression. Those on board following that album will not be surprised to learn the group is already evolving, shedding some rock style in favor of a broader musical palette on The Days And Nights of Everything Anywhere.Opening on “Beauty” with a triggered electronic ruckus, the song morphs into hammered staccato piano and a ferocious chant from singer Joe Haege of “Victory / Vanity / Victory / Vanity.” “Sanctify” strays even further, primarily built off a repeated two-second keyboard loop, a castrato chorus and several machine-shop sound effects, all the while lambasting hypocritical, organized religion. Perhaps most divergent for 31 Knots is the sparse “Everything in Letters” which is Haege’s voice accompanied only by watery tubular bells.
Bassist Jay Winebrenner and drummer Jay Pellicci direct the tension and drama of each song (“The Salted Tongue,” “Savage Boutique”), mounting or varying the backbeat appropriately. Each instrument from the trio works together in unison with almost unnerving chemistry, helping to reduce the bass/drums/guitar banality plaguing many conventional rock bands. It works so well that what could be considered initially an awkward riff opening “Hit List Shakes (Inconvenience of You)” becomes a rousing finale against the colorful closing arrangement.
Balancing these numbers are the frantic indie-prog pieces “Man Become Me” and “Imitation Flesh,” giving just enough bite to keep momentum strong throughout. And while decidedly different as a whole, The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere is rock evolution in the best way possible: natural progression from a great band with a bright future.