Knightlife seems like a band that gets it. They sound like they’ve all been around studios and venues long enough to know what works and what to avoid. It seems like they all know what sounds they want from their instruments & know how to get them. The same goes for their approach to songwriting & recording. The final product is simply a really solid 90’s type rock band with just a bit of 2016 digital clarity. No presence in the band is overly hungry for attention, which results in a sound that comes across as mature without losing the natural grit of the genre.
Knightlife – Field Day
“Slow Down” sounds like a title track from a good mid 90’s grunge rock record. Whether intentional or not, the first influence that I hear is Stone Temple Pilots, around the time of their Purple Record. Though, Knightlife has more of a raw & unpolished sound, specifically in regards to the scratchy lead vocals, which remind me a bit of STP’s first record, Core. This song has signs of various 90’s rock but altogether has a feel that is uniquely, Knightlife!
“Choose Your Side” took my ears in a different direction pretty quickly. The intro showcases the power of the straight up guitar/bass/drums setup, when all of the players have some experience on their instruments. Classic crunchy rhythm guitar, a perfectly fitting lead line, a Matt Freeman-ish bass sound, along with some Alkaline Trio style drumming is a combination that I’ve not yet heard. The verses give me a bit of a Rancid feel, both vocally and groove-wise. The chorus abruptly takes a turn where we hear a solid melodic rock hook that probably kills it at a live show. Then, there’s a guitar solo that has a touch of Tom Morello in there somewhere. There’s some nice drumming in the outro, too. It’s a cool tune that flirts with punk, alternative & grunge.
I had similar feelings on the arrangement of “Superman” to what I felt on “Choose Your Side.” A nice mix, solid playing & cool lead guitar lines equal a sum that is greater than its parts. The intro tells me that this is a band that actually listens to each other while writing their parts. The singular members’ parts are not the focus. The song as a whole is the focus, and the sections all do their jobs. The dynamics through the verses & chorus keep the song moving in an interesting way. Then we get to the instrumental section, which seems like the climax of this song for me. There are some really interesting parts stacked on top of some really nice drum grooves. It seems like a good amount of work went into this one and it shows. Great work!
I’m interested to see where the musical progression of Knightlife leads. I imagine that they’re going to explore some different sounds & arrangements on their next records, but that’s for them to decide. Based on their playing & songwriting, I trust that they’ll make the right decisions & I’m interested to see the outcome. Until then, go to see these songs live and you might get a sneak peek of the future of Knightlife.