Pet Knives comes from the rainy lands of Seattle and their music is somewhat of a reflection in that it rains more than it shines. But the group always has an underlying tone of positivity. You just have to pierce the veil of fuzz and drone on their EP Papercuts to gather and appreciate their real intentions.
“Big Black Hole” comes right out the gate with jabbing rhythms and booming spacious percussion. The vocal delivery glides in like Say Anything, but the music resides in something that is purely Pet Knives. Production quality is on point; the mix is a touch saturated but it’s nice to hear every level of composition even on laptop speakers rather than wait to hear those hidden gems on surround sound. I can’t relate too much to this track, but it serves as a great introduction nonetheless – very moody and outside the box. The guitar frowns along a wilting melody while atmospheric sounds swirl and project.
“Empty Mess” is a little bit too much like the name. Not that it was a wreck of a track, but the soundscape was timid and dry. I liked the style, but thought that more attractive ideas were possible despite the minimalist approach.
“Forget You Not Blue” is perplexing in that it keeps restating that odd phrase of a title. And then swapping out blue for black and so on. I think it’s cool, just a little weird. The song is a little wonky and that’s just what Pet Knives do best – solid indie with a sprinkling of the strange. “Gifts of Thought” has that whispery lightness to it and is almost a ballad, but still bright and breezy; the acoustic generating delicate interludes.
After listening to Papercuts I felt like I’d just heard one long song. From one track to the next there’s really no arc or diversion from the same alternative spark of soft speak drear-pop. For me, I was left content yet there was no emotional engagement or direct appreciation for a certain element. The band as a whole goes down smooth, but it’s low calorie.
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