The Knife

Written by: PP on 15/09/2017 08:02:58

A new Goldfinger release in 2017! There's one few saw coming, given we've basically heard nothing to the band since "Hello Destiny..." in 2008, and for good reason: It's been even longer since this band last released a solid record. We'd have to go at least all the way back to "Open Your Eyes" in 2002 to find something moderately enjoyable that doesn't sound like autopilot career extension music, of which seventh album "The Knife" is yet another brilliant textbook example. In the meantime John Feldmann has become more famous for overproducing punk and pop punk bands to mainstream oblivion, so why should we expect anything else from his newest album?

The entire lineup aside from vocalist John Feldman has been shuffled for this release to make room for a supergroup formation: Philip Sneed (Story Of The Year) is on guitar, Mike Herrera (Mxpx) is on bass, and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker completes a star-studded lineup that at least on paper should result in something good, right? Unfortunately, "The Knife" tracks sound like c-rate Millencolin songs thanks to the polished production and generic mainstream punk melodies that they come with. And what about "See You Around" or "Put The Knife Away"? Play them side-by-side with the new (Feldmann-produced) Blink 182 record "California" and you'll have tremendous difficulty in distinguishing the two records from one another.

The ska/reggae songs are the exceptions to the rule where vivid horns give the songs much-needed flair: "Get What I Need", "Tijuana Sunrise", and "Don't Let Me Go" are good examples. The dime-a-dozen "Who's Laughing Now" is their antithesis given its formulaic songwriting (despite a fast tempo) and generic chorus.

Another aspect that bugs me about "The Knife" is its constant theme of reminiscing about the good old times in a nostalgic fashion that honestly resembles the average Trump voter's mythical 60s America when all was supposedly well. "Am I Deaf?", for instance, is about not being able to relate to the current generation's listening habits: "Sometimes I feel so old, yeah / Am I deaf? Or am I just a little left / Of what they listen to today?". "Tijuana Sunrise" is about drinking to forget how bad times have become today: "Blacked out in Mexico, Jose Cuervo got me again [...] I've been drinking just to forget how good it was". "Beacon" bluntly asks "So where do I fit in?", and "A Million Miles" asks "Where did my life go?". It certainly sounds like the punk scene has long since moved on and Feldmann is struggling to accept the facts.

But hey, let's give the man the benefit of the doubt, eh? Unfortunately, the songs don't really get much better as the album strolls along. The terms autopilot and overproduced essentially describe everything you need to know about "The Knife". Boring songs that never really go anywhere but have just decent enough choruses to appeal to the wide masses. But if your tendency is to dig any deeper into the music scene, let alone the punk scene, "The Knife" isn't exactly going to cut it. When we're in mid-2018 reminiscing about great releases in 2017, it's doubtful it will come up in the discussion, let's just put it that way.


Download: Beacon, Get What I Need, Put The Knife Away
For the fans of: Millencolin, (new) Blink 182
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.07.2017
Rise Records

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