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Cut the Cord

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Album Review

This Austin-based group is in no rush to get things done, and that has never been more apparent than on this album. From the somber and gorgeously slow "Village Fireworks," the hushed harmonies of Aaron Blount and Laura Krause are very pleasing on the spacy, country-tinted tune. When they up the tempo on the relatively pop track "Kill a Tiger," it sounds like a cross between the Doors and Gram Parsons, a harder and grittier collision of twang and organ. This '60s dreamy feeling continues on "The Very Air," with Bill McCullough's sparse guitar work accenting the verses perfectly. It also builds in intensity before ebbing back to square one. Opting to branch out somewhat, the band nails "Massacre," an acoustic guitar-driven track that could be a contemporary song for a spaghetti Western film. Vast chasms of idle time seems to propel these songs, particularly on "Warped Pearls" as Blount sings about bloodied cocoons and trees imbibing antifreeze. Perhaps the highlight is "Decoration Day Flood," a waltz-like Americana effort that ambles along effortlessly. But a close second is the creepy "Biltmora Children," whose rhythm and tone recalls "Midnight Rambler" by the Rolling Stones. With the average song closing in at five minutes, Knife in the Water build tragic minidramas that are quite powerful delivered in their sweet, uplifting vocals such as "My Skin Would Cover the Waterfront."


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Knife in the Water emerged from the thriving Austin scene in 1997, showcasing a sound influenced equally by indie, ambient pop, and skewed Americana. Led by the vocals and guitar of Aaron Blount, the band also included vocalist/keyboardist Laura Krause, pedal steel player Bill McCullough, bassist Mark Nathan, and drummer Cisco Ryder. The self-released Plays One Sound and Others appeared in 1998; it enjoyed a strong local response and was a critical favorite. The band headed out on tour, making it...
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Cut the Cord, Knife in the Water
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