Religious Knives – The Door (Ecstatic Peace) 2008


There is an irony in Religious Knives calling their latest album The Door because the ghost of Jim Morrison can certainly be found in its neo-psychedilc drones. When I first saw that this had been released last week I almost wasn’t going to bother. Although the two collections of Religious Knives bits and pieces that I own, Remains and Resin, are mighty fine, I doubted that I needed more of their no-fi, dirge-like take on droning psychedilia. But hey it was cheap and over the weekend I deceided to wrestle with it.

As you might know Religious Knives are the avant-rock supergroup of the duo of Double Leopards along with two thirds of Mouthus. They’ve been pretty busy over the last couple of years and if you ignore the compilations of bits and bobs, The Door is the second proper album of their career. In an interview I read, Religious Knives dude Mike Bernstein said that his new band was to translate the expressionistic aspects of Double Leopards into something a bit more musical and song-like. On Resin and Remains their sound was hampered (or enhanced depending on your taste) by sludgy, no-fi production. At time it almost felt like it was recorded underwater in layers of murk and filth. On The Door, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, takes over production duties and the resultant tracks are clean and very “song-like”. To me ears this is actually progression. The cleanness of the production reveals a band with one foot firmly in the past and another one in the future. Their sinister take on psychedilia is refreshing, compelling and if you’ve never heard Religious Knives before I doubt hat you can get a better introduction than this.

The Door track “Downstairs” live

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