The Knife

Record review

Phases & Stages

The Knife

Silent Shout (Mute)

The Knife is rewriting the definition of electro-pop. What used to be happy, bouncy, and enthusiastic is now dark, eerie, and exacting. The masked brother-and-sister duo of Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson makes music in Stockholm, Sweden, on hard drive, stringing together yarns of chilling vocals and electronic boggles while uniting ravers, indie rockers, and goths in one measure of creepy beat. Third album Silent Shout, the first released stateside, is riddled with WTF moments. Merging Siouxsie Sioux with Aphex Twin, Silent Shout twists manipulated sounds around a basic core of addictive rhythm in a convoluted game of tetherball. The opening title track lets a little light in while introducing the Panish voice of Andersson. "We Share Our Mothers' Health" brings Stomp to the electronic forefront: Envision animated characters bouncing through puddles of color as tribal drums echo. Layers of sweet and sour push "Marble House" into a Dalí fantasyland, while "Like a Pen" finds an adult Sesame Street strewn with shadows, especially when taken with Andreas Nilsson's perfectly symbiotic video. Yet it's 10th track "One Hit" that begs for immediate relistening: spooky and relentless. The Knife is proof that, in the right hands, technology works.

***

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