Knife Party – Haunted House EP [Review]
Since undertaking their colossal Knife Party side project, Gareth McGrillen and Rob Swire have outdone nearly every other producer in the business with their massive, riot-inducing productions. From 100% No Modern Talking to Rage Valley, each four track EP they’ve put out has been nothing short of momentous. After months of anticipation and countless delays, their third EP has finally been released. Click past the break for a track by track review.
“Power Glove” is the EP’s opener, and a fitting one at that. Distorted bass chains and recurring high pitched voices exude an eerie mystique straight out of a Clive Barker novel, before Nintendo’s old school slogan introduces a pile driving electro house drop. Many have already deemed it the follow up to “Internet Friends,” and with its memorable sample and similar high-pitched drop, it’s probably a fair assertion to make.
“LRAD” is the track that’s received the least attention prior to the EP’s release, but it’s no production to sleep on. While it begins with a stereotypical euphoric build, it makes up for its big room banality with a low, synth drum drop. It’s difficult to not draw comparisons between “Epic” and “Hit It,” but regardless, the KP quality is still there.
“EDM Death Machine” is arguably (and ironically) the EP’s strongest addition. The track begins with some satiric humor from Knife Party, as they drop a short poem containing conspicuous allusions to other artists and their own tracks. The build up that follows is comprised of various mechanical assembly noises, as if the “EDM Death Machine” is being manufactured on the spot, before leading into a hectic, acid-infused electro drop. Even more interesting than the poem and build up, however, is the inclusion of a breakbeat bridge with what almost sounds like a manipulated sample of Darude’s “Sandstorm.”
Rounding out the EP is the highly coveted VIP of “Internet Friends” found in nearly every Knife Party live set. While it begins almost near identically to the original, with the exception of a rearranged melody, the true variation in production occurs two-thirds of the way through, as Knife Party increase the tempo for a monstrous dubstep drop.
The Bottom Line
Did Knife Party’s newest EP live up to the hype? Yes and no. On the one hand, the masterful craftsmanship of these tracks is as present as ever. Gareth and Rob are undoubtedly owning their niche, and tracks like “EDM Death Machine” and “Power Glove” will be played out relentlessly. While Rage Valley EP, by contrast, boasted electro house, dubstep, drumstep, and moombahton, Knife Party’s latest is not as sonically diverse yet remains equally impressive. And although it was nice to see the official release of “Internet Friends VIP,” I can’t help but feel that those who desired it most had already found the means of securing it by this point. I would have much rather preferred a new Knife Party track (“Baghdad” perhaps?).
Don’t get me wrong, Haunted House EP is a quality release. The biting social commentary that has pervaded their material from the beginning is still on point, and the potency of their style is still unparalleled. At the end of the day, I’m just another fan harkening for fresh(er) material from one of the biggest super duos in the game.