Knifight Revives Goth Dance in Texas
When I was in my late teens, one of my favorite places to hang out was in a Philadelphia nightclub called Revival. I remember that the only light sources consisted of strobes and black lights. Occasionally the room would get bright enough to make out the gargoyles on the walls and a clock that spun backwards. Everyone wore black on the outside because black is how they felt on the inside, and they reeked of baby powder (used to make their skin paler) and clove cigarettes. Basically, it was the perfect atmosphere to listen to bands such as Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Psychedelic Furs, Nine Inch Nails, and Ministry. Oh, and in case you have not guessed, this was the late 1980s and early 1990s — the height of the goth and industrial craze.
My hair has not been dyed black since that period of my life, nor have I worn eyeliner (well…maybe for a few Halloweens). Those late nights at Revival all but faded from my memory…that is until I wandered into my first Knifight show. You know how certain sounds are able to dust off distant memories? Well, Knifight’s music sent me right back to Revival circa 1991.
Formed in 2002 as a solo IDM/noise project of singer John Gable (vocals, guitar, synthesizer), Knifight slowly evolved into a fully fleshed-out quartet with Patrick Marshall (vocals, synthesizer), Nick Garrison (vocals, electric guitar) and John Hetherington (vocals, bass guitar). Knifight is definitely a modern update of the music that ruled my teenage years (they cite Xiu Xiu and LCD Soundsystem as influences), but a definite kinship exists to the post-punk/goth/industrial scene of the late 1980s. And for all of you youngsters who have no idea what the heck I am rambling on about, Knifight is kind of like Interpol, but much more entertaining.
Some tracks feature vocals that directly channel Peter Murphy (Bauhaus), Ian Curtis (Joy Division) or Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs), while other tracks sound totally unique. But for the most part, Knifight is dancier and more bombastic than their ancestors; though not without channeling the same prevailing tone of gloom and doom.
Are you intrigued yet? You should be, because Knifight is certainly intriguing. Knifight’s next gig in Austin is at The Sour Notes tour kickoff on July 21st at Red 7. Just don’t forget your black Manic Panic hair dye and black eyeliner.