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Album Review: Crash of Rhinos- Knots

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When TNS first wrote about Crash of Rhinos in early 2012, we tipped the band for big things. With their new album Knots, the Derby five piece may just have proved us right.

With Knots, the band has very much picked up where they left off on their debut, Distal. Their intricate emo displays the same high levels of musicianship as before, but the end product highlights a more refined, fuller realisation of their sound.

Knots wastes no time in making an impression.

Opening track ‘Luck Has a Name’ is a highlight amongst highlights. Blessed with vocal melodies, that was at times lacking on earlier work, and furious riffs amongst layered instrumentation that is complex but without any clutter, this is a perfect display of controlled aggression.

As the album progresses, the diversity of their sound really becomes apparent. Where tracks such as ‘Interiors’ and ‘Manheim’ show the gritty, abrasive side to the band, Sum of All Parts’ reveals a controlled, atmospheric aspect to their music.

The instrumental tracks ‘Everything Is’ and ‘The Reason I Took So Long’ are surprising, but far from unwelcome additions to Knots. The tracks are delicate and calm, yet fit perfectly with the tone of the album.

It is this variety, whilst working a whole entity, a truly “complete” album that stands Knots apart.

The biggest leap is in the vocals, each members unique style is given space to breath and the ‘gang-vocals’ favoured on Distal, whilst present, become part of the mix and not the front-running factor.

On ‘Lean Out’, this leap becomes most apparent. A haunting, subtle and heart-wrenching number it is unlike any of their earlier material. While it certainly is one of the saddest moments on the album, it shows that the band don’t need to rely on elaborate instrumentation, and know when less is more.

With their second album, Crash of Rhinos have improved on every level.

The album is more powerful, more polished and more visceral than anything they have released before.  

Knots has breathed life into a genre that has been largely dormant in the UK, and is not only a great emo album, but one the best rock albums of the year.


Knots is out now. Listen here:http://crashofrhinos.bandcamp.com/ 




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