Knife In The Water - formed in 1997, Austin, Texas.

Cisco Ryder - Drums Aaron Blount - Vox, gtr Laura Krause - Vox, keyboards John Brewington - Bass Bill McCullough - Pedal Steel

Taking their name from Roman Polanski's debut, Knife In The Water, the band's influences include; gospel, spirituals, country blues, The Butthole Surfers and Joy Division. Knife In The Water make widescreen music for narrow minds.

The band originally came together for a one off support at a festival featuring Calexico & The Dirty Three. The crowd reaction to that set was so positive that KITW reckoned they just had to do it again, and again.

Their debut lp, "Plays One Sound & Others", was picked up for Europe by German label Glitterhouse in 1998 and released to critical acclaim. Like Spiritualised with a Gram Parsons jones, claimed David Fricke of Rolling Stone. Equal measures of grace and dust prevail, a wind blows in one ear and straight out of the other, leaving nothing but a haunting. KITW know atmosphere and have no intention of walking in slience.

Rehersal, compostion and touring followed the release of their debut, culminating in a mesmerising New York performance the day 1999's tornado hit town, immaculate timing. With a larger budget, a new US deal & a bucketful of self-belief, KITW went about recording their sophomore LP, the masterful "Red River" (relased in the UK in 2000, again on Glitterhouse).

"Red River" took the sprawling template of "Plays One....." and condensed and refined it. Most KITW songs clock in at over 5 minutes, they need time to build and swell. The boy/girl vocal harmonies of Laura and Aaron are a KITW trademark, light and shade in equal measure. Pedal steel washes over the edges, laps at the shores of the songs like the tide. KITW are anything but instant, each lp takes time to understand and appreciate, that's why beauty don't come cheap.

KITW stand apart from other inhabitants of the alt.co prairie, they embrace the bigger picture and are not affraid to wear all their influences on the same sleeve at once. Take a dip in Knife In The Water some time soon, give yer self a holiday in other people's misery, you'll never be so happy to be so sad.

1998 - "Plays One Sound & Others" 2000 - "Red River" (both available from www.glitterhouse.com)

Bill Burrows


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