31Knots

Climaxanticlimax

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Released as a limited run in 2000, sold out, and then reissued in 2009, 31 Knots' first album Climaxanticlimax shows the band in their rawest, most experimental form. Their Fugazi influence and prog sensibilities were top priority in their early days, with all of the focus on creating angular tension with start-stops, and knotty, often showy guitar work. Of course, angularity became their trademark, staying with them over the years, but it eventually matured, slid to the backburner, and was used as a transitional accent between song parts rather than a constant device. Here, they are at their most relentlessly choppy and challenging. To complicate matters, halfway through the album's recording session with engineer Larry Crane (Pavement, Cat Power, Elliott Smith), drummer Mark Walsh left the group, leaving Joe Kelley to fill in. This only left the record more scattered. Some of their trickiest mathematical switch-ups, most radical variations in tempo, and most frantic spaz-outs will make this of interest for some, but most listeners will want to steer clear, since it's also their most dissonant and difficult work.

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