Words About Music
Crash of Rhinos “Knots”
You’ve heard me talk about my love for emo before. I’ve discussed bands like The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die and Pity Sex and Defeater and Owen before on this site. I even own a vinyl copy of American Football’s only studio album. So emo isn’t exactly something I’m a stranger to. Which brings me to “Knots,” the sophomore release from British emo/post-hardcore band Crash of Rhinos.
Like I’ve said before, the Internet has produced a burgeoning new movement of emo groups from all over the world that combine all sorts of elements. There are softer emo bands that follow in the footsteps of American Football and Mineral, and there’s the more hardcore angry emo bands that follow in the footsteps of Envy and Orchid. I could really discuss emo as a genre, its roots, and its current scene for hours on end, so I’ll spare you that and just let you know that there are tons of great bands out there that self-identify has emo, screamo, post-hardcore, emotional hardcore, etc. And Crash of Rhinos are not only one of those bands, but also one of the better ones.
In 2011 they put out their debut album “Distal,” and it’s free if you wanna check it out on their Bandcamp page. I was blown away the first time I listened to “Distal,” because it took a little bit from Sunny Day Real Estate and a little bit from Mineral and ended up being a 7-song emotional roller coaster that can really bring you down while filling you with energy. And “Knots” follows these same principles, except it’s a bit longer and more fully realized and consistent than “Distal.”
The album kicks off with the one-two roundhouse kick of ferocity that is “Luck Has A Name” and “Opener,” before taking a minute-long break in the form of the instrumental track “Everything Is.” Right off the bat, this album gives the listener an idea of what is to come.
One of the most immediately impressive things about this band is not only their emotional and good-mood-destroying lyrics, but also their musicianship. In between all of these choruses are some amazing instrumental parts, with amazing syncopation with the drums and the guitars, which never try and do the same thing more than once. Even if you’re not big into emo, you can at least respect that these guys are great musicians and always seem to be in sync with each other. There’s even a few post-rock-esque builds mixed into the album, which only adds to the amazing diversity among these songs.
“Knots” is a powerful, staggering, loud, beautiful album, full of some great albeit sad lyrics. Especially on the song “Lean Out.” That one will definitely cause some sadness. All fans of post-hardcore, emo, math rock, whatever, should definitely give this album and band a listen. They recently got a little bit of Pitchfork buzz, but definitely deserve more than that.
SCORE – 8.6
FAVORITE TRACKS – Luck Has A Name, Opener, Sum of All Parts, Impasses, Standards & Practice, Lean Out, Speeds of Ocean Greyhounds