A couple of short weeks ago, Knife Party announced that they unfortunately had to delay the release date of their highly anticipated debut LP Abandon Ship. The album, originally slated for an October 27th release, was pushed back two weeks in order to better fulfill the label and management’s criteria. Knife Party, made of Aussies Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, also wanted to finish up a couple of tracks to bring them up to their desired production quality. In a month of giving thanks, we should definitely pay our respects to the dance music gods as Abandon Ship leaked a couple of days early. Throughout all of the chaos surrounding pushing the album back a few weeks, somebody forgot to tell Apple. The album accidentally appeared on iTunes before it was supposed to be officially released, but Rob Swire stated he was ” happy the album got ‘leaked’ early” and soon posted Abandon Ship on SoundCloud in its entirety.
Since the release of their debut EP 100% No Modern Talking in 2011, Knife Party has been tearing up dance floors worldwide. After Rob and Gareth’s decade long stint with famed drum and bass group Pendulum, the two decided to start a side project that featured a heavy electro house and dubstep sound. Internet Friends and their collaboration with Swedish House Mafia became instant classics as Knife Party quickly developed into dance music’s premiere production duo. Knife Party continued to develop their iconic sound in 2012 on their second EP Rage Valley with tracks like ragga dubstep brain-splitter Bonfire and the rebellious moombahton club anthem Sleaze.
Knife Party’s most recent release prior to Abandon Ship was their EP Haunted House in 2013. For devout Knife Party fans, the extended play was very polarizing. This is primarily because Haunted House‘s feature track LRAD epitomizes big room house, which is a drastic shift from Knife Party of 2011 and ’12. Despite its cookie cutter chord structure, repetitive kick and unnecessary reverberation, LRAD seemed to be requisite for any main stage festival set. No one can fault Knife Party for their willingness to try new things but its clear that big room house is not the group’s forte. Even though LRAD is not a highlight of Knife Party’s work, it is still one of the better big room house songs to date.
The past three years could be called somewhat of an utter whirlwind for Knife Party. The two producers have headlined festivals worldwide, including USC Events’ first Paradiso in 2012 and Resolution in 2014 (ahhhh….good times). They also still have their Pendulum project in the works, albeit in a current hiatus. Rob and Gareth slowed down from touring considerably in 2014 to finish up Abandon Ship. We are certainly glad here at Dance Music Northwest that Knife Party put in the much needed studio time because the results are not disappointing. The group’s debut full length album is a perfect combination the Perth-bred duo’s dubstep and hard electro roots with forward sounding tracks that are unique and vibrant. In many ways the album is totally over the top, but that is just reflective of Rob Swire’s personality. The quicky lyrics and samples make Abandon Ship surprisingly humorous and only add to an already intriguing listen.
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