Knife in the Water

Plays One Sound and Others (Sonic Surgery)

Texas Platters

Ahead of next month's first new Knife in the Water release in 14 years, Super Secret Records' reissue imprint Sonic Surgery waxes the local quintet's 1998 debut back into print and onto turntables. A wandering, lonesome album, Plays One Sound remains ethereal, understated avant-garde, and noirish, laden with church organ bleakness and the country twang of pedal steel. Eerie opener "One Sound" builds on a thoughtful guitar line and Aaron Blount's weary croon spinning a narrative about waking up to the smell of a burning house, but wanting to fall back asleep anyway. Dark dreaminess colors every cut, a disorientation like the foggy mental state that comes between sleep and waking. Even "Married Woman" and "Norma," structured, accessible country, are foreboding, and sardonic-pop "I Sent You Up" details dismembering a lover. Bookended by atmospheric sprawls, both running over nine uneasy minutes, Plays One Sound embraces the lurking presence that looms in the pockets of its sound. (Album release: Mohawk, Thu., March 2)

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