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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

31Knots - Worried Well

posted by on August 13 at 13:40 PM


Portland’s 31Knots are one of those groups that had me hooked from the first time I heard them, which was about four years ago now. My introduction to the band was It Was High Time to Escape, released on the now virtually nonexistent 54º40’ or Fight! label. Somewhere I read a review of the band that compared them to old Modest Mouse with Yes’ Rick Wakeman on guitar, and that struck me as a pretty apt comparison. Since that record, however, the band has been slowly moving away from proggy compositions and more toward theatrical numbers with loops and pianos. On their last record, The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere, the intricate back and forth riffing between the bass and guitar that made me love their early work was almost entirely absent. The record had a few worthwhile moments, but for the most part was a dud compared to the rest of their impressive catalog.

So hooray for 31Knots for straightening themselves out and writing the best record they’ve released since High Time. Worried Well manages to find the perfect balance between the intricate instrumentation and swaggering theatricality that have come to define their tenure as a band. “Strange Kicks” is built on a see-saw piano loop but breaks into guitar solos and a stomping chant-along. “Opaque/All White” has a guitar lick that would sound perfectly at home on the Yes album Relayer. The record is constantly turning, rising and falling, starting and stopping, each song unique from its counterparts. 31Knots are squarely back on the top of their game. Here’s to hoping they start receiving the attention they deserve for being one of the most intriguing bands in rock music.

Worried Well will be released 8/19 on Polyvinyl.

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And! They're playing next month on 9/10 at the Sunset!

Posted by Alicia | August 13, 2008 2:35 PM

I love the character JH has become... he's on the verge of becoming the rock equivalent to Andre 3000 when he calls out the ladies in 'Compass Commands'.

More rock singers should develop personas like rappers do. Except dude from QOTSA, he should just carry on with the douchebaggery.


Posted by JonPanther | August 13, 2008 3:15 PM


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Posted by Self-Hating Hipster | August 13, 2008 7:02 PM

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