Long Knife


Long Knife Curb Stomp Earth LP

Crucial release from this Portland band that melds the perfect combination of POISON IDEA and early FUCKED UP to kick major ass. This record shreds from start to finish and adds unusual elements that keep it fresh the whole time. It is straight-up exciting. Opener “Modern Fatigue” starts with a goddamn full church choir that matches the epic, grandiose nature of the songwriting and riffs with divine power. Sounding like a gimmick at first, LONG KNIFE brings back the choir amidst the blitz-fast hardcore to awesome effect. The energy never slows from that moment and often uses intricate crossover riffing, time changes, and full-cheese thrash solos on songs like “Blue Rose” and “The Curse.” The thing is, it rules instead of feeling corny or overproduced. Take “Scum” for instance: Castlevania organs underpin the punk and later solo like there is a bat-winged candelabra on the guitar amp. It sounds like MURDER CITY DEVILS meets, forgive me, GHOST, but it rules. Essential, innovative hardcore that never lets up. If you don’t like this, your idea of punk may differ from mine.

Long Knife Night of the Hunter / Rough Liver 7″

An absolute monster from Portland’s answer to Portland’s Kings of Punk. As on previous releases, LONG KNIFE wear their influences on their sleeve—POISON IDEA, heavy metal, Japanese hardcore—and they own every fucking note. These two tracks lean heavily on burning metal leads, which rocks (of course) and makes the record feel more honest. And on the subject of honesty, the lyrics read like Bukowski nihilism, taking heady stock of the reality you’ve made while keeping a cautious eye over your shoulder as a reminder of how real things can get. Living fast is fun, dying young is glamorous, but finding your place in the next chapter is the real challenge. LONG KNIFE isn’t dwelling on it, but you can feel the struggle fighting in the grooves. Great band, and this two song slammer might be their best release.