Demo MMXII (Complete Discography)
Church of Fuck/Witch Hunter
How often is it that you hear of bands who commit one recording that gets the underground buzzing so much, only for said band to then return to dust? Like Siege? Punky Bruster? Minor Threat? Bands like those had something special about them to create a single album or recording of note that people still talk about those recordings many years after they were originally released, whether on a cult level (certainly in the case of Punky Bruster, a Devin Townsend side project) or on an altogether more influential platform.
It’s unlikely that Knife Crimes will ever achieve that level of notoriety or cult status, but even so, word was beginning to spread amongst the UK underground of their ‘Demo MMXII’ recording that was attracting plaudits and perhaps beginning to gather a little place when suddenly, the band split, and its more than likely that most of you will get into Knife Crimes, like me, too late, simply off the back of word of mouth reviews like this. It’s to Witch Hunter Records’ credit that they’ve put ‘Demo MMXII’ out as a CD release, boosting its tracklisting with the final two recordings from the band, and entitling it, a la Minor Threat fashion, ‘Complete Discography’.
Knife Crimes posted on their Tumblr account when announcing ‘Complete Discography’ the words ‘Thanks to the world for letting us down’. This statement rings true lyrically. The last song ever written and recorded by the band ‘World Past Saving’, opens ‘Complete Discography’, a defiant spit on man’s chokehold on the planet, and former B-side ‘Field of Flames’ is no less uncompromising. The tracks comprising ‘Demo MMXII’ make up the belly of the EP and are full-on smashers with demoralizing lyrics bleak as they come. ‘Cold Cross’ is particularly miserable hardcore, with the lyrics ‘Born into this world/Baptised in boiling water/disowned by the world/like lambs to the slaughter’ set against a thunderous twin pedal assault and guitars that even sound like they’re lamenting their own existence on this world. In Knife Crimes’ world, Jesus has a lot of explaining to do.
The three additional tracks aren’t half bad either. These are the final Knife Crimes recordings, do not disappoint, but in the knowledge of the band’s split, the closing track doesn’t half feel like the dying breaths of the band. The appropriately named ‘Death Hymn’ is a dark acoustic number with raging hardcore vocals over the top; an appropriately sorrowful trudge into the end. The final echo of the guitar is really as haunting as it gets. The conclusion of a short history. The end of the briefest of careers. Maybe if the world continues down its current path, this might well be the appropriate soundtrack. As it is, this happens to be one of the greatest statements of UK hardcore to date, which is all the more shame, despite respective members’ committing to future projects, that Knife Crimes are no more.