Had a request for some No Knife singles a few weeks ago in the comments for my aMINIATURE 7" upload. In the summer of '94 I went to a Drive Like Jehu gig in Toronto. A mindblowing band named Tanner kicked off the proceedings, and convinced me to buy some of their merch, including a split 7" with No Knife. Tanner definitely packed a walloping punch, but it was No Knife's "Sweep Away My Shadow" that truly rocked my world. So enthused by this little ditty I got a hold of frontman Mitch Wilson and asked if I could put a No Knife on my then non-existent homegrown record label. That homegrown label remained non-existent, but at any rate, I was a super fan of the San Diego quartet for life. It turns out that No Knife would soon attract a decent amount of attention, and a year or two thereafter, released their first album, Drunk on The Moon, which after initial release on Goldenrod Records was usurped by the Time Bomb Recording label.No Knife was a self-referenced "audio karate" band. Brandishing a dazzling technical finesse, particularly guitar-wise, the group's cerebral and dynamic spin on the then burgeoning post-hardcore movement was also espoused with tuneful sensibilities. With a nod to DLJ/Rocket From the Crypt's John Reis ax-shredding salvos, No Knife weren't quite as gnashingly fierce as their forebearers, but truthfully, they didn't need to be. To me, they were the best of many worlds.
This post covers the aforementioned Tanner split single, as well as two more early NK 45s. "Habits," from their 1994 7" on Goldenrod was later retooled for the Drunk on the Moon cd, with the sly riff-rocker, "Oh...I" that occupied the B-side remained exclusive to the single. Prior to the release of their second album, Hit Man Dreams, in 1997, a preview single was released containing the album cut "Jack Boots," backed with a cover of Japan's "Communist China." The curiously oblique Hit Man... album also included a rerecording of "Sweep Away My Shadow," originally offered on the Tanner split 7." Even greater things were to come in the form of their third, and arguably strongest record, Fire in the City of Automatons, circa 1999. A fourth album, Riot for Romance! reared it's head three years later, but life from the No Knife camp has largely been mum since, with the exception of some recent murmurings about possible reunion gigs. No Knife were anything but linear, however these nascent singles were as close to "conventional" as they would ever come, and were quite an accomplishment in themselves.
1994 7" (Goldenrod Records)
1997 7" (Time Bomb)
03. Jack Boots
04. Communist China
1994 No Knife/Tanner 7" (Goldenrod)
05. No Knife - Sweep Away My Shadow
06. Tanner - Slightly Calculated