No Knife - Riot For Romance! (Cover Artwork)

No Knife

No Knife: Riot For Romance!Riot For Romance! (2002)
Better Looking Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

No Knife should've been huge. They made all the right moves. They started out small and local, then signed to uber-indie Time Bomb [then home to the Aquabats, Social Distortion, and more], then toured consistently for a few years supporting really, really good albums. They toured with the Get Up .
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No Knife should've been huge. They made all the right moves. They started out small and local, then signed to uber-indie Time Bomb [then home to the Aquabats, Social Distortion, and more], then toured consistently for a few years supporting really, really good albums. They toured with the Get Up Kids, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Jimmy Eat World, among others, and even got the nod to open up for one of Braid's last shows in 1999. They did everything right, yet fame still evaded them. Their former tourmates have gone on to become Vagrant kingpins and gold album award winners, while No Knife has quietly been left behind. The band even made one of 1999's best albums, the almost-perfect "Fire In The City Of The Automatons," and still no one seemed to take notice. Imitators of the band's sound are now stealing all of their would-be success [Counterfit, I'm looking in your direction]. So what does a band do to prove that they deserve attention again? Make a really good comeback album.

How does it fare against their peers? Well, it blows a lot of them out of the water. How does it fare against the band's back catalog? Well, it's not as good as "Automatons", but I'd rank it a close second. The guitars are as angular as ever, and Mitch and Ryan's vocal acticulation is dead on. When Mitch spits out "Fuck your slow death scene / We want a riot for romance!" in the title track, you can't help but believe him. The band also experiments with dub on this record, most notably again in the title track. "Parting Shot" sounds like Radio 4 if Radio 4 wasn't so pretentious, except for the At The Drive-In-esque freakout in the middle of the song. Quite unique, indeed. "Feathers and Furs" slows the album down as swirling organ sounds intertwine with the tightly strummed guitar rhythm. It sounds as classic as classic No Knife can be.

After this track, the album is in some desperate need of adrenaline, and it receives it in a one-two punch of the bouncy bass-and-guitar interplay of "The Red Bedroom," and the stereotypical No Knife sound of "Brush Off." Apparently the latter is the current radio single in San Diego, but personally I would put more stock in the former being a hit. The album as a whole is pretty solid until the last song, "The Moonlife." It is a slow, monotonous dirge that doesn't seem to go anywhere; this makes it an absolutely horrible closing track. I can't quite comprehend whose idea it was to put that song there, but it was not a good idea.

So like I said, overall the album is pretty darn good, and is a definite return to form for the band. My only serious complaint [besides the terrible sequencing at the end] is the presence of already released material. "Flechette," while a killer song, has already been released on two seperate releases - the band's split 7" with Sunshine, and the "Holiday Matinee Vol. 2" CD compilation. Kind of overkill, don't you think? "The Red Bedroom" also appeared on the band's split CD with Nine Days Wonder, and "Permanent For Now" was previously released on another split 7" with Lazycain. For myself, being a fan, it was disappointing seeing all this older material showing up on the release, but they all are good songs, so I suppose it's good for the No Knife newbie.

Is it a strong album? Yes. Is it top ten of 2002 material for me? Too early to say, there's still time for it to grow on me. Will I recommend it to my friends who love Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional? You bet your sweet ass I will. "Riot For Romance!" by No Knife is the perfect gateway drug for someone who's just getting into the scene - it's not too abrasive to scare off listeners, but it's original and innovative enough to keep them hooked and wanting more.

The Red Bedroom
Brush Off


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (March 19, 2006)

It's a shame that this record wasn't really "successful" either.

Anonymous (October 6, 2002)

How can you not hear how much counterfit rips off no knife?! his vocals are so similar its crazy. go listen to counterfit - "feel the ride" and then tell me they still, are different. no knife is one of the most original bands out there, cant say that for counterfit though. on a side note i saw no knife today and they rocked so hard! best show ive seen i a while.

Anonymous (September 28, 2002)

both no knife and counterfit are amazing, and both are very differant from each other....they each create a mood within in themselves that aren't similar at all. so definitely get your head out of your ass and write a reveiw that justifies how fucking amazing Riot for Romance is.

Anonymous (September 22, 2002)


Anonymous (September 21, 2002)

Yeah, Dan is from San Diego, but i don't think we should really consider him a part of Counterfit. Just look at him, he's way to pretty, I smell a Milli Vanilli if there ever was one, I don't even think he knows how to play a guitar. I saw him pretend to play it upside down once on accident. The rest of the band kicks ass, but dan is just a shiny figurehead.

Sheena (September 16, 2002)

Isn't Dan from San Diego?

Anonymous (September 11, 2002)

I wasn't talking to you. Read the very first comment.


Anonymous (September 10, 2002)

I said they both RESIDE in San Diego. I didn't say they were both from there.


Anonymous (September 10, 2002)

I absolutely agree that the No Knife album is amazing. I don't believe it is better than Fir in the City... but it is most definately up there.
However, by stating that Counterfit is stealing what should be No Knife's fame, is a pretty ignorant comment. Counterfit does state that No Knife is an influence, but Counterfit has not in the least stolen anything away. By stating that Counterfit is just a "mock" band, you are neglecting to look at their talent as being one of the best songwriters out there. They go beyond just basic storytelling but also dive into the literary world of metaphor and etc. I have never heard a Counterfit song that seems to be plagarizing another's idea, and I think you need to basically take your head out of your ass and see what really is going on.

Anonymous (September 10, 2002)

They're not both from San Diego, they both just live there. Counterfit's from CT.

I really don't see any sort of musical crime committed in the Counterfit stuff. I think it's definitely clear that they've been influenced by bands like No Knife, but to suggest that they're running off with the fame No Knife should have had is pretty fucking stupid.

Get your head out of your ass Scott.

I bet you're in that band Convoy.


seek (September 8, 2002)


Anonymous (September 5, 2002)

I've never saw the No Knife/Counterfit comparison myself. Only comparison that they both reside in San Diego.

That being said, I am in love with this cd. This is seriously an amazing cd. The instrumental, May I Call You Doll, is simply beautiful. Check this cd out for sure.


Anonymous (September 5, 2002)

no knife is quality.
yea, 91X is playing them on the radio.

travis (September 4, 2002)

made me want to buy the album. scott, i salute you/

CallingLondon (September 4, 2002)

pretentious isn't that big a word you big fat retard. good review, pretty cool music.

Anonymous (September 4, 2002)

Scott did you learn the word 'pretentious' from your Mest record?! Good boy, way to improve your vocab!!

Anonymous (September 4, 2002)

screw counterfit

Anonymous (September 4, 2002)

They're pretty good, but they're no counterfit.

Anonymous (September 4, 2002)

no knife is incredible and hands down one of the best bands out there.

Anonymous (September 4, 2002)

Good review. Funny thing is the "worst" song, "this Moon Life" is by far my favorite track. To each his own.

AstroVince (September 4, 2002)

Much respect to No Knife and the reviewer.

Anonymous (September 4, 2002)

good review....the funny thing is no knife and counterfit are both from san diego...

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