Knives Out - Heartburn (Cover Artwork)

Knives Out

Heartburn (2002)


I became interested in looking into Knives Out because I heard they were from Philadelphia, and you know how that whole scene is. Yes, a bunch of Kid Dynamite-ish bands that are fast and furious. Without even hearing a song from these Knives Out fellows, I picked up the "Heartburn" EP and was hoping to have my ass handed to me.

The first thing that came to mind when I popped this bad boy in my cd player was "These guys sure do sound somewhat like the late, great Nerve Agents." It was probably due to the lyrical content (a line from "Broken Night": ‘have you ever killed for fun? No, I'd like to try someday') and the overall spooky/scary feel of the EP. I guess I was slightly hoping that they would sound at least a little like Kid Dynamite, but they couldn't be further from the realm of Kid Dynamite and friends, aside from the screamed vocals.

They're in no way ripoffs though, they have several redeeming qualities to their own right. Vocalist Nicolas Hans has a great screaming voice, sounding a little like a grizzly cub caught in a snare trap while fighting a hammerhead shark. While that was a poor description, I think I'm getting the idea across. The guitars are loud and hard, with abounding breakdowns. The song topics range from love lost, to the hate for corporate employment, to death. Quite the grab bag of song topics, if you ask me!

The six tunes on the EP clock in at just under ten minutes, so even if I thought it sucked, I wouldn't have enough time to hate them. That, however, isn't the case. Knives Out's debut EP will hand your own ass to you, if you're into that kind of stuff. If you like Nerve Agents and dare I say, "dark" hardcore, then these Philly bros will own you. It's a shame they broke up, because they seem like they'd be a good live band. While you're at it, pick up the Philadelphia Sound comp as well; their contribution to it is excellent. I guess you could say I was stabbed by Knives Out! Te he he.