Release Date: Oct 14, 2008
Record label: Ecstatic Peace
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Things just go slower for Religious Knives. Their songs are long; their tempos, glacial. Song development happens not through change but repetitive addition. Drones slowly twist in and out of the stereophonic landscape, chanting voices enter and exit, clamoring guitars arrive without expectation, and drums and bass maintain a dense but always slightly off-kilter groove.
Though The Door only has six songs, the new release by New York’s Religious Knives is a pretty generous helping of music. Not only does it span nearly 30 minutes over those tracks, but they jump genres and sounds from track to track. There’s the tribal drumming and vocal harmonies of “Downstairs”, the 60’s psych-rock of “Basement Watch”, the droning ghost thump of “On a Drive”.
The key for Religious Knives, nowadays, appears to be focus – and clarity. Starting as a side project for Maya Miller and Michael Bernstein, then one half of Double Leopards, collecting Nate from Mouthus and Todd Cavallo along the way, their modus operandi has seen them slowly disrobing their more prolix noisic elements while reaching for rock songs that take the language of post-‘luude garage-psych – I’m seeing Opal and Spacemen 3 flashing in huge neon lights here – and cross it with the kind of levitational dronology that’s been one of the key distributaries from post-Dead C free-rock action. Let’s be blunt here.