Yesterday marked the release of Knuckle’s debut EP, This Week’s Been Hell. Having only met at a gig under a year ago (Halloween 2013, whilst the drummer of the pair wore strange attire incorporating tights a potato sack), the drones-blue duo are already gaining a name for themselves through their hectic and loud sets, often showing-up the act they’re supporting. Self-described as “The Black Keys on crack”, it’s difficult to believe that there’s only two of them going into the beautiful racket that makes up the record, and yet there is.
The minute and a half Knuckle Scuffle that opens the EP puts you in the perfect mood for the five tracks to follow, and even a few seconds will leave you shocked that all that chaos is created by only two people. Muffled vocal work and fuzzy guitars take up most of the release, with a few more intricate moments overlapping, to form a sound both raucous and accessible.
Apocalyptic Kiss features an almost fluctuating opening, and this relative inconsistency becomes a common theme, constantly changing the shape of the sound. With the swagger of Elvis, Hand Grenade For A Heart takes a definite hold of the EP and allows the more dominant vocals to take their place on the record, before a boisterous guitar solo earns its right to make deal out of itself.
Ejector Seat adds a more soulful and melodic notes to the album with powerful vocal intro, before lashing out into the comfortable noise that makes the album. The flippant, “I got a girl, she f-cking hates me / She ran away to Cornwall”, contrasts perfectly with the rough and passionate sound that comprises the rest of the track, with a lul in the instrumental of the record drawing attention to this featured. The anthemic build-up to the close of the completes the structure to make this a personal favourite.
Penultimate Bad Brains forms a dramatic and unapologetic noise, bursting its seams, before the sound brings back the blues edge to the drone-blues in the finale, Living Hell. Less dominant and more focussed for it, this lengthy close (at three minutes forty-six, it’s the second longest off the record) acts as the calm after the storm, and end the EP on a somewhat sobering note.
If you like your blues loud, revved up and with a gritty edge, this packed release is what you’re looking for – watch these guys, they’re going somewhere fast.