Forks and Knives – Self-Titled Album Review

With their homemade press kit, Forks and Knives seem like a band with DIY roots right off the bat. But unlike many bands that throw together a press kit, write a personal note, and call that enough, Forks and Knives manage to come off as professional despite being hugely unconventional. Included in their package was a one sheet that cited influences such as depression, insecurities, spite, and the human condition, but somehow, it felt funnier than inappropriate. They failed to include a CD and instead shared their album on a personalized 256MB USB drive, which stood out as innovative. The USB drive included not only the band’s forthcoming self-titled disc, but their bio, contact information, lyrics, and even a hidden track that was adorably nested within ten folders, with the ultimate folder destination being “Lyrics – Credits – Pictures – Bio – Contact\!!!\!!\!\super\secret\hidden\track\is here\and it’s not\very pretty”.

One could look upon all these factors as a positive attempt to innovate, or one could write Forks and Knives off as pretentious hipsters trying to be too artsy. While I choose to go with the former, the truth of the matter is that Forks and Knives’ brand of electropop music is probably most palatable to hipsters and younger kids seeking dance parties. But that need not be a turn-off, because this disc is actually rather quite good and hints at a subgenre that will probably become pretty huge in the near future.

Forks and Knives are a duo comprised of Iris Montes and Jeremy Michell, and much of their music is reminiscent of the indie-punk world of Sleater-Kinney colliding with the sugary-sweet electro world of Freezepop. ’60s pop seems to play a role in the band’s music as well, and each of the tracks is basically a varying percentage of all of these factors. “I’m A Work In Progress” and the cover of April March’s “Chick Habit” play heavily into the electro side, with easy-to-swallow keyboard melodies as their centerpieces.

Tracks like “Damage Control” and the intro track, “Another Word For Love, That Rhymes With Hate,” rely more heavily on straight-forward rock, but their use of distorted vocals, jangly guitars, and mesmerizing basslines set a mood that lies somewhere between comfortable and haunting. Electric guitars are used by Forks and Knives less as instruments to show off with, but more as instruments to set moods and rhythms with. They seem to lay down solid rock n’ roll foundations to begin with and custom-tailor their sound afterwards with the addition of synths and miscellaneous sounds.

With “Lose My Breath,” the duo creates a more tender, nearly downtempo track that surprisingly fits into the mix. It showcases the band’s ability to make primarily electronic tracks that rely minimally on pulsating beats, airy vocals, and nondescript guitarwork.

Their self-titled disc, which will be self-released this month, is definitely an accomplishment that the duo should be proud of. The diverse sound they’ve perfected may not be at all commercial, but it seems a matter of time before this kind of music catches on. For now, listeners should take a chance on the band, because for a mere $5, they can receive Forks and Knives’ album on a USB drive. And if anything, the duo should be applauded for their ability to think outside of the box.

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Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Anomiemess
Anomiemess
13 years ago

This Album is tight. Well written, well played, well engineered. Right on!

Lose My Breath is a MBV cover. ?

jermtzu
jermtzu
13 years ago
Reply to  Anomiemess

Yes, Lose My Breath is a My Bloody Valentine cover.

david s
david s
13 years ago

very refreshing new sound i gotta say….ive been burned out on what seattle’s been regurgitating as of late

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