Flashing Of Knives

In Shark Territory

Written by: TL on 28/08/2008 15:42:30

On a cold night in January, way back in 2007, I witnessed a band called Sinai warm up for mewithoutYou at Loppen in Copenhagen. Those of you who recall the review of that show might also remember that I wasn't overly impressed by their performance. These days, Sinai go under a new name, Flashing Of Knives, and have recently released their debut album "In Shark Territory", and seeing as I'm the only member of our staff who have any experience at all with the band, it has fallen upon me to review it.

Now I'll be the first to say it; since that show last year, much water has ran under the bridge, and many promos have passed over my desk, and while I wouldn't say that I had no idea about what I was talking about back then, it wouldn't be inaccurate to state that my musical understanding of then is easily dwarfed by the one I like to boast with today. That being said, one thing from the review back then still holds true about Flashing Of Knives, and that is that they are still so indie you wouldn't believe it. By indie I mean quirky, by indie I mean introverted and utterly un-pop and besides that, by indie I refer to the countless bands you'll be reminded of while listening to "In Shark Territory". Modest Mouse being close to mind, except darker, seeing as the Danish electro-heroes in Veto follow close behind in the train of thought. Maybe it's just because I saw them with mewithoutYou way back then, but I'm tempted towards crediting them as an influence as well, seeing as the compositions are just a little bit too quirky, and the vocal outbursts a bit too energetic for me to put them solely on Modest Mouse's account. Then I might be wrong all together, because I wouldn't be surprised if the guys in this band know way more of that whole scene than I do, and if they are actually influenced by completely different bands.

Be that as it may, if you're any fan of the bands I have mentioned, there's a good chance "In Shark Territory" will be somewhat of a treat for you, because it is very well done, very ambitious and very confident in its expression. Along with an excess of curious bass-grooves, quirky guitar licks and electronics form the base upon which the band's lead singer delivers a strong and delightfully varied performance, something I'll always be the first to applaud. It must be noted however, that this record has taken more than your average handful of listens before opening up to me, so if your interest has been tickled by this review so far, just be aware that you're dealing with a grower rather than instant gratification.

As for the songs, the album opens with three tracks that nail it spot on. Lead single "Pedro El Negro"'s ambiance and hand-clapping proves my Veto-reference and provides a pseudo-catchy chorus that'll tease your consciousness for lengthy periods of time. The following "11 Dead Plans" is currently my favorite song on the album, seeing as it seems to be composed exclusively of excellent part upon excellent part, shifting seamlessly from one to another. Then "The Blackout" delivers a dark perspective on depraved binge-drinking, and while that might not go down well with all the party-animals out there, the coolness factor of the song more than makes up for it.

As for the remaining six songs, it's apparent to me that they definitely maintain the high standards Flashing Of Knives have set for themselves, however, either their hooks aren't as strong as on the opening trio, or they simply haven't had enough time to wedge themselves into my mind yet. Realising the strength of the first tracks, and the fact that there's no obvious let down in the later ones, I'll most likely be giving them that needed time, and as such, I can't but applaud "In Shark Territory" as a very interesting album, that should definitely be able to transcend the Danish borders and make some noise on the international indie scene.

Download: Pedro El Negro, 11 Dead Plans, The Blackout
For The Fans Of: Modest Mouse, Veto, mewithoutYou
Listen: flashingofknives.com

Release date 30.06.2008
Front/All Records

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