January 28, 2013

Song Review: The Knife's "Full of Fire"

The allure of Swedish electronic duo the Knife is best defined by the separation of two halves: Their ongoing guise of mystery and their unrivaled style of innovation that feeds off this meticulously plotted image. Since the breakthrough acclaim of their 2006 sophomore effort Silent Shout and their groundbreaking visual work to bat, the sibling duo of Karin Dreijir Andersson and Olof Dreijir have maintained a low profile over the past half decade (barring Andersson’s solo outing as Fever Ray and 2010's opera collaboration Tomorrow, In a Year) in which splintered sub-genres born from their unsettled electronica, whether it be in the form of dubby witch house à la Salem or prettied up in Purity Ring and Grimes, have all attempted to best them at their own game without getting it all in there. Here we are seven years later, and the Knife are returning once again under their own conditions of baited intrigue with their third album Shaking the Habitual, due out April 9th on Rabid / Mute Records, with its first single "Full of Fire" qualifying as a sophisticated "banger" that easily puts all copy cats in their place. It's also an ambitious listen than spans over 9 minute long, but is altogether not too demanding in the sense that the trippy listen sparks energy from its opening moments that worm its way upward around Andersson's gnashing vocals, stylized in a confrontational sense like her Fever Ray persona, amidst industrialized rhythms that scream of an inert punkness. It's both grating and accessible enough to mend the fabric of their creative curtain which has been scissored up by their offspring during their absence, but make no mistake about it -- Where as the fledlging acts might be able to barely keep the pace, the Knife outlasts them here on "Full of Fire."

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