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Butterknife | Attractions

album review by John Powell

Butterknife | Attractions

What makes Butterknife one of the best in their field is their ability to make a lot of noise with three instruments. Phil Wisdom on guitar, Kieran Stone on bass, and Jim Theodore on drums, beautifully turn it up loud without losing tightness, without losing control. Their songs never sound noisy. They sound collected. Attractions keeps the trio on a roll, with six inspiring punk rock tunes.

Attractions starts off hard with “Goodnight Goodbye”, with a catchy guitar riff and melody, and a chorus you’re destined to fist bump to. “We open on our hero,” Phil starts the album; “Frozen in his tracks/ sweating through his jacket.” Immediately, Butterknife is showing that their world is full of the anti-hero, of the simple man trying to make his way. “I’ve never been more terrified/ It doesn’t matter now/ I’m ready to feel alive.”

“Telescope” sounds like an early Foo Fighters B-side, harkening back to the days of Weezer-esque talk-singing and palm-muted guitar. It’s not fast and thrashing, but it’s loud and big. Similarly, “Muscle Memory” will stick in your head for days. Kieran’s bass takes the forefront, and Phil inquiring. after the minute-long intro that is, “When you laughed at me/ it was over/ I lean backwards in my chair.” This is a love story turned on its head. “The planetarium/ a fifth of Makers/ I caught you doing cartwheels shitfaced down the escalator.”

The best track is “Afraid of Me”, with a great guitar riff, loud bass, and Jim doing what he does best, filling in any leftover space with percussion. The melody is bright with vocals muted beneath the heavy instrumentations. “It’s not a secret/ not a mystery.” That’s Butterknife: laying it out for better of worse.

For Attractions the only downside is perhaps the fuzzy vocals, which could be clearer over both computer speakers and in the car. Everything else sounds great, though, and the band keeps the garage rock feel through their raucous mixing. In fact, the songs overall might be the group’s best, or at least are as good as the rest of the catalogue. Fans will be pleased.

Bottom line: near-punk rock trio knows how to write melodies, riffs, and anthem choruses. Great stuff.

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