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Kentucky Knife Fight

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As the Gateway to the West, the promise of leaving St. Louis was built into the prospect of arriving here; her arch functions as an ironic symbol of something to pass through, that which you don’t look at but look beyond. But for those who stay, like the five-piece punk-blues wrecking crew Kentucky Knife Fight, this unswept city itself finds a voice in their sound. Like the dark side of a postcard, unfamiliar unless you live there, their newest songs are inhabited by the city’s criminals and carrion – its lonely, displaced, and desperate. Their city is poised on the precarious edge between southern hospitality and northern cynicism, between bourbon in a pitcher and lukewarm beers that you have to open yourself.

Kentucky Knife Fight have grown along with the city, returning after relentless touring with an increasingly acute perspective of the hardships inherent in St. Louis life. Like the scene itself, they have seen their own youthful angst become introspection and insight; what were once accidental riffs have become anthems; and opening for national acts have yielded performances that were not only memorable, but mattered. Their music is world-weary but hopeful; grace is never enough to save the unsavory; and just because you love something doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.   Pulling St. Louis with them like an always-almost-broke-down trailer across the country, the band is but one of a growing armada of ambassadors in every medium, renewing the city’s vital voice in American art. The city’s community-based initiatives, collective spaces, and galleries are fostering progressive ways to imagine performance-based art. Newly influential again, St. Louis is listening to Kentucky Knife Fight tell its story; they were named “Best Rock Band” three times by the Riverfront Times, but that feels less like an award than an announcement. Because Kentucky Knife Fight are too hungry to be tired; too restless to rest; and too stubborn to stop.   “Kentucky Knife Fight is evolving with a seriousness of intent more apparent with each and every move by the band. Videos are being made, touring continues, and the band’s third and newest album, Hush Hush, is the group’s best-sounding, most cohesive, and most original-sounding release to date.” --St. Louis Magazine    "Hush Hush: Wherein the St. Louis-via-Edwardsville band marries its bluesy barroom blitzes with a cinematic scope. For its third full-length, the quintet remains clouded in cigarette smoke and dark-tinted glasses, but there's a touch of the auteur with how the album is assembled." --Riverfront Times   "Kentucky Knife Fight’s Classic revenge-therapy lyrics pierce the veil between alt-country and death metal.  And that’s where Holler and company really hit their mark–this collection of tunes splits the difference between Nick Cave’s murder balladeering and Craig Finn of The Hold Steady’s seedy characterizations, knocking back stories of addiction, love, pain, death and all points in between.” --Eleven Magazine    Vocalist and wordsmith Jason Holler (the band write the music) delivers his lyrics with a dirty, unctuous snarl, whilst his bandmates whip up a boogie storm or keep it slow and sleazy. Lead single “Misshapen Love” definitely falls into the former camp. It’s brazen soulfulness hovers between the garage and the dance floor, just so long as there’s a wall to bounce off. “Love the Lonely” arrives on a slow train before releasing the brakes, and on the splendid title track, the entire band take the opportunity to showboat, but it’s a cracking song with a stuttering rhythm and post-punk feel, and might just be the best thing on a consistently fine album.” -- Leicester Bangs 

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