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November 20, 2017


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Knapsack
This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now. (Alias Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Mixing power-rock and emo, Knapsack serves up a very melodic, highly interesting array of both lyrics and music. A tight three-piece, they come at you with relentless assaults of howling vocals and screaming guitars, before letting up, and then ripping right back into them. Whether you're into the music for good, melodic sounds, or angsty-rock, you'll find them both here.

After putting this disc in my CD player, I was instantly blown away. Their music is very crafty, full of catchy hooks, powerful lyrics, and appropriate vocals to back them up. "Katherine The Grateful" blew me away with its hypnotizing guitar riffs and powerful rhythm section, and this was just the intro. Jumping from a soft, melodic base to a powerful array of shouts and muscled beats, they get the listener relaxed before taking them for a ride. "Change Is All The Rage" begins with some mid-tempo beats, before diving head first into a pop hook, and then gently toning everything down a bit. But, as usual, they soon pick up the pace again and crank up the amps, while the drums go from the soft backbone to the aggressor. Even though the music isn't that fast or aggressive, they combine enough mid-tempo beats with slower melodies to make the song a very powerful number, as it pulls on your emotions and makes you feel each note right in the heart. "Cold Enough To Break" is a very soft, sensitive number. Helping to emphasize on the emotional aspect of the song, besides the wonderful job the vocals do, is the addition of strings. The violin is so gentle and telling, it almost makes you want to cry. "Arrows To The Action" once again jumps into the rock-charged emo style this band makes sound so good. Hard hitting drums pound in your mind, while they keep the song very intense. The vocals are painfully emotional, feeling every word they sing so deeply, the listener almost gets to the point where they want to comfort the vocals and let them know everything is OK. Then there are times the music opens itself up and you begin to feel as if you're the one singing. Once again blending soft melodies with their blast of hard hitting notes, this number has to be one of my favorites. "Hummingbirds" finds the band in the slow, soft environment that really opens them up. Instead of hiding behind the charge of the guitar, or the intense rhythm section, they pour out everything with nothing to cover their wounds. It is times like this when you just sit back and start to think, while all your pain comes forth and a common bond is formed. Ending with "Please Shut Off The Lights," they combine the slow moments and their pounding moments all in one, creating a nice number that sums up everything the album is about, feelings, love, and truth.

The title alone, THIS CONVERSATION IS ENDING STARTING RIGHT NOW, makes this disc a winner. It's got my vote for title of the year. But taking it from there to their music, they only get better. This disc is truly amazing. Revealing, full of emotions, and great music make this disc one you won't want to pass up on. I'll give it an A.

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