Sometimes it’s easy to call something “bleak” and “repetitive” and call it a day. For a music critic, it’s especially hard to sit down with something by a band like Religious Knives for more than one listen. It’s dark, it’s not exactly pick-me-up music, and it’s really complex. To peel back all of the layers of one of their albums would take a lot of dedication and, frankly, who’s got the time?
But it’s one of the most rewarding things to really immerse yourself in something like the album Resin by Religious Knives. It may not be the happiest thing you’ll listen to, but it reaches into your inner animal. It’s oddly primitive and carnal. Something about it makes me want to cover my face in mud and hide in the trees, waiting for my prey to pass by.
Which is hilarious, considering I’m a twentysomething beardo vegetarian that lives in Uptown.
Religious Knives – “In The Back” (from Resin)
Religious Knives are currently doing a few North American dates. And if you like introspective and heavier music, seriously give Resin a listen. Here’s their list.
1) The Cure – “Carnage Visors” – “When I moved to New York when I was 18, one of my first revelations was that I love The Cure. I was late to the game—it would have been useful in my dark high school years. I also had just discovered ‘Persian Surgery Dervishes’ and ‘The Marble Index’ and this is kind of like the perfect combination of the elements of both songs…it is blossoming despair and warm nothingness.” – Maya Miller
“I found a cassette copy of Faith that had ‘Carnage Visors’ on it early in my high school years and I was completely blown away by the epic instrumental. Definitely the darkest thing I had heard up until that point, this was a starting point for me down the road of intense, introspective music.” – Mike Bernstein
2) Marvin Gaye – “Trouble Man” (from Trouble Man) – “The echoey goo of Marvin Gaye’s voice crying about his hustle melts my lady mind. There’s only three things that’s for sure, taxes, death and trouble.” – Maya Miller
“A jam I’m more familiar with coming through the floor board’s from Maya’s studio to the basement where I spend a lot of time. Always makes Maya want to dance, which is always a good thing for me.” – Mike Bernstein
3) Yabby You – “Conquering Lion” (from Conquering Lion) – “This song is so heavy that Yabby You did not exist before it was written. It is a song of violent destruction and creation—–I feel massacred when I listen to it. I am convinced my life will never be the same.” – Maya Miller
“This is my absolute favorite jam to blast at high volumes toward the end of a night of DJing, and also is the best intro to a sick dub set in general. One of the first reggae 45s I ever got, and still one of my favorites. I’m on my third or fourth copy—they keep cracking. Be you! Be you!” – Mike Bernstein
4) Velvet Underground – “Train Round The Bend” (from Loaded) – “The VU entered my life when I stole the ‘Banana CD,’ as I used to call it, from my brother, who never really liked them anyway. You could spend around 10 years per album getting to know this band, and you still wouldn’t know them. Loaded is a tough sell for some, but really, it’s nearly perfect. ‘Train Comin’ Round the Bend’ has a ridiculously catchy riff, great lyrics, and an overall feel that few have ever touched. Amen.” – Mike Bernstein
5) Spacemen 3 – “Losing Touch With My Mind” (from Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To) – “Unbeknownst to me, a major influence on my guitar playing style, without having really spent any time checking it out. Very late to the Spacemen 3 party, I’m now completely obsessed. Anyone wanting to sell their old vinyl, get in touch. Five Tunes has my info.” – Mike Bernstein