Knife Wife - Family Party (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Knife Wife

Family Party (2019)

Sister Polygon

There’s something chilling about listening to the next generation tell you how it is. Even more so when it’s Knife Wife, who describe Family Party as “regurgitation of the tear inducing boredom and ecstasy that is being 15 years old.”

The fifteen-year-old experience on Family Party is bleak and minimal. The guitar and bass are uncomfortable, and the drums seem to exist only to prove how minimally drums can be used. Musically, there’s hardly anything game changing. “Cheek” is a change a pace, relying on the members’ “ahs” as the primarily instrumentation (for which a third gutturally screams over.) And “Fruit Void,” a notable outlier, has a twinkle sound and a drum machine.

But the lyricism is on another, haunting level. Sometimes the lyrics are youthful and disarming: “I eat every living thing in sight. Ants on the asphalt. Bees in the bathroom […] C’mere, I’ll kiss you right on the mouth.” Sometimes they’re with deadpan delivery: “I think we’re in dreamland, because I wanna have fun all the time.” Other times they are terrifying, especially on “Lobe.” The song starts with “Euthanize your friends,” involves screams of “Lobotomy!” and eventually references your ashes and phlegm. There’s a juvenile “we can say whatever we want” nature to many of these songs but it absolutely works.

Knife Wife is signed to Sister Polygon Records run by fellow DC punks Priests and the fit couldn’t be more natural. Knife Wife is a product of generational boredom. Rarely is vital music made from this amount of apathy, but Family Party accomplishes just that.