Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Kneads - When Nothing's Going Right, Go Left

Label: Potluck Foundation
Year: 2017

Two years ago, from out of nowhere, but seemingly plucked directly from my own caveman brain, The Kneads showed up to reclaim the glorious tradition of North Carolina indie rock and boldly take it upon themselves to reanimate the neglected corpse of perfectly crafted "good time music".
And now, over two years later, just as I was beginning to doubt their staying power (erectile dysfunction zinger) The Kneads coming barnstorming back across the fertile Piedmont hills of my youth (euphemism for: being really good at playing a style of music formative to my earlier years and that which was a benchmark in the underground landscape of the late 80s/early 90s). I couldn't be happier.

The NC musical DNA runs deep with this band. For good reason too, these aren't 20 year old dudes who've raided the Merge Records back catalog, these are..."wizened" dudes of a refined age who helped write and record some of the best records in NC music history. They know of what they speak. But, to prove a point (and my own NC bona fides), here's how The Kneads stack up.
Take the earnest punchy Replacements rave-ups of Small (or Small 23 if you must), take some of the endearingly ramshackle punk pastiche of Erectus Monotone, take some of the D.C.-ish first wave emo of Vanilla Trainwreck, take the DIY pop damage of Bricks, take some of the skewed, noisy buzz of The Raymond Brake, take a hint of the insanely catchy but subtly venomous Archers of Loaf, take some of the Spatula dynamic punch, but most of all, take a whole bunch of the anthemic power pop of Superchunk. And then have Guy Picciotto sing on top of it all (I double-checked that one with my wife, and her initial comment was, "sounds like Guy singing with Superchunk"'s official).

Can you find fault with any of that? I can't. It's a very specific sound played with the rarest of authenticity, and it's fucking perfect. Look for this one on the (highly coveted) Best of 2017 List later this year.


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