On The Garden Below, Albany, NY, alternative folk-rockers Knotworking take a bunch of strides beyond previous efforts. The group's first two albums were striking, stark little mysteries that seemed to channel the sullen, poetical obliqueness of such predecessors as Will Oldham. On The Garden Below, the production and instrumentation are much fuller; in addition, main knotworking man Ed Gorch's bandmates help with the heavy lifting this time around, pitching in on songwriting and vocal duties. Back when Gorch was cobbling together Knotworking's lo-fi debut in an old converted church in Kingston, NY, he had the notion that there would one day be a band under the moniker, and this album is certainly a strong statement of the group's newfound democracy, swinging from the group's typically folk intentions to alt-country to outright rockers. This album often finds the band on surprisingly upbeat (and fun) terrain.
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AllMusic Review by Erik Hage