Born from the remnants of second string emo bands like The Exploration and Midwest Pen Pals, Knola describe themselves as four friends that make and play music together, but what kind of music? And is it any good?
Loosely speaking, there’s an indie vibe to the band’s sound that owes quite a lot to American college rock, but with a number of different elements like a touch of post-hardcore lurking in the background. And yes, it is pretty good actually.
The one minute three seconds of guitar slap on ‘Moving Along’ soon segues into the loose indie rock of ‘Weight’ with its 90s vibe and frantic finale conjuring memories of Dinosaur Jr. In fact, there’s a definite 90s influence running through the record, especially on tracks like the urgent ‘Cottage Grove’ and ‘Winter Skin’ with its insistent riffing and melodic chorus.
The tracks that work best though are those with a few added twists like ‘Fabric’, which offers up a more rock-y feel before a shift in the aesthetic brings out a pained (almost hardcore) vocal; good track. A ponderous bass line on ‘Ruby Beach’, with its downbeat vibe then rolls along to a surprisingly hooky chorus of “There are/ giants in the water/ too far out/ for us to swim” as the guitars kick in.
Knola are probably best summed up by closing track ‘Fireworks’; the distorted open chords giving it a dark feel that suddenly gives way to an atmospheric bass line and melodic vocal that drowns in a wall of sound. It neatly showcases their slightly leftfield feel, encapsulating the light and dark tones providing the atmosphere to their loose yet emotive style.
’To The Rhythm’ may be short and with one foot in experimental indie, but it’s pretty sweet and well worth a listen.
‘To The Rhythm’ by Knola is released on June 10th on Skeletal Lightning.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)