Cincinnati, OH based post hardcore band Knife The Symphony have been carving its path since its inception in 2006. Fearlessly embracing volume and unapologetically defying genre boundaries, their music blends post hardcore, punk, rock and noise rock into a relentlessly rhythmic sonic experience. Their new album “All The Wrong Turns Taken To Get Here” serves as a concept offering, delving into the struggle of disconnecting from a hyper-technical, superficial, and chaotic world in search of inner peace. Today we’re having a closer look at each and every song through a special track by track commentary below.
Drawing inspiration from various sources, including Midnight Oil, Hoover, and Bad Brains, Knife The Symphony has consistently delivered a relentless, high-energy, and rhythmically-driven body of work that has drawn comparisons to esteemed bands such as Hüsker Dü, Drive Like Jehu, Jawbox, and Unwound. In their sonic exploration, the band pays homage to the influential sounds cultivated by SST, Touch & Go, and Dischord Records.
Recorded in Dayton, KY at Candyland Studio, known for its work with renowned acts such as The Breeders, R-Ring, Bat Fangs, and Vacation, this album captures a distinct moment in time. Notably, it was created during the Brood X cicada endemic of 2021, adding an intriguing layer of serendipity to the recording process.
Wilding I – When we were recording, coincidentally, it was the summer of the Bood X Cicada who show up every 17 years. We thought it would be a good way to document the event. And 2023 will be our 17th anniversary as a band, so it all sort of worked out.
Islands – Seth took the lead vocals on this track which was a first. It’s a commentary on the constructs of social media. Destruction by way of silos and isolation. Defeating self, killing empathy – all for a drop of digital dopamine
Boulevard Inn – The idea for this song came from a motel we stayed at in Buffalo. The brochure promised an oasis but in reality, the place was just awful. Filty and dirty. It’s about the facade prominent figures in society(politics) put on but in reality, they can pretty sleazy people.
Sequestered – A quick note on the ruling class, inequity, and the impossible relationship they try to build with the less fortunate. Financial classism.
Mile Marker – although it’s an instrumental, it’s a nod to the early punk records that would insert an acoustic song or even the recording is completely different. The nature sounds are there to separate and escape the chaos of day to day, work, 24-hour news cycle, etc….
Gouge – The lyrics for this song came about during a personal struggle with change. The successes and failures when trying to change for someone else or for the better within yourself and realizing that some things are just unattainable. Or just out of reach and no matter how hard you try; you just can’t get it right. Whether it’s personal, spiritual, contemplative, or physical.
A light withheld/Thermo-man – The lyrics for this track are in reference to the decisiveness / chaos during the past administration to what cumulated in the summer of 2020 with protests and the riots and a leader who was lacking in empathy.
Causation – This track was originally written and recorded in 2014/2015. The main objective of the track was to talk about the (endless)war in Afghanistan but what motivated it was a story about a soldier that went awol. There is evidence that he was upset over U.S. policy in Afghanistan and deserted his post. 6 additional soldiers lost their lives while searching for him. He was captured by the Taliban and released 5 years later in a prisoner exchange of Taliban leaders.
52Hz – The title is derived from a story about a whale dubbed the Loneliest Whale. Apparently, the whale sings at frequency of 52Hz. No other whale species does, so the concern is how does he communicate with other whales, if at all? The lyrics have to do with the Jan 6 events. All the red flags and the rhetoric that was going around prior and during, the attempts to curb anything from happening were lacking as if “no one was listening”. So as if a giant whale can’t be heard by other whales, the “powers at be” weren’t listing to what was to become the events of Jan 6th.
Wilding II – We felt this was a good way to end the album. A peaceful transition to ride out on. Steve Wethington, who recorded and engineered the album, played the banjo on the track. We wanted to bookend it with the Cicadas but adding the extra guitar and banjo just added a whole new dimension and feel to it. It’s a feeling of neither sadness or happiness but hopefulness for a better future than these last few years.