Knifeworld: Clairvoyant Fortnight

Reassuringly zonkoid EP from UK sextet.

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Knifeworld’s 2009 debut Buried Alone: Tales Of Crushing Defeat signalled the arrival of a band cast very much in the kaleidoscopic tradition of the Cardiacs – giddy time signatures, complex structures, more ideas per square inch than most bands pack into an acre. Or, as their MySpace page so neatly put it, a sound like ‘paint hitting the cathedral wall’.

Leader and songwriter Kavus Torabi has previous form as guitarist in the Cardiacs, alongside a whole bunch of other projects that include North Sea Radio Orchestra and Chrome Hoof, which of course can only be a good thing. And while we eagerly await Knifeworld’s in-the-works second album, this four-track EP will do very nicely as a taster for what is to come.

There are two stabs at the title track – one a radio edit, the other an extended take – marked by a vaulting sense of musical ambition that finds Torabi and ex-Cardiacs singer Melanie Woods trading vocals over deliciously knotty rhythms, dissonant riffs and a chorus with a killer hook. It’s all breathless stuff, underpinned by a beefy melody.

In A Foreign Way is similarly breathless, while The Prime Of Our Decline injects such busy avant-pop with a splash of baroque psychedelia. Stupendous, in a word.

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.