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Cairo Knife Fight - Cairo Knife Fight EP Review

07 Aug 2010 // A review by amandashootsbands

Words by Amanda Ratcliffe

What do Anika Moa, Weta and Fat Freddy’s Drop all have in common? Would you be surprised if I said rock? Probably, but I’m not making it up, people… I could never tell a lie like that to your sweet innocent faces. 

The band is Cairo Knife Fight which was lovingly developed by Mr Nick Gaffaney of Goldenhorse, Dimmer and Hollie Smith fame – not to forget a couple of the others listed above. Add into the mix Mr Aaron Tokona of Weta, and you’ve got one of New Zealand’s most unique and bangin’ live acts.

Why so unique, and why so bangin’? Imagine the drummer getting centre stage for a change. Doing his thing up the front, all while producing outstanding vocals that even Brandon Flowers would be envious of. That’s Cairo Knife Fight, and this is the now duo’s self-titled debut EP.

Long-time listeners will be aware of Iron – their first album, which was released in 2009. It was brought to our ears with a couple of other members who have since gone on to focus on other projects, leaving Gaffaney and Tokona to experiment with the unexpected. Their new EP comes with a sound and show that is as Jem would say, truly truly truly outrageous.

Describing their sound as “rock with beats and bass”, Big Face is just that. With nearly a two minute guitar-heavy intro, I was expecting some raw and grotty vocals – which is kinda’ nice when it’s done right. But much to the delight of my delicate Saturday morning ears, Gaffaney turns it around with devilishly sweet vocals surely inspired by Matthew Bellamey of Muse.

Believing that “the music is as important as the melody and lyrics”, it’s obvious that these lads aren’t just saying that to keep ‘the people’ happy. This Is Love is the perfect example of such a statement with a precise mix of danceable beats and vocals that had the band noticed by Them Crooked Vultures earlier in the year - gaining them an opening spot at their NZ shows.

Now, if you’re a fan of Dimmer, you’ll most likely enjoy All I Ever Wanted, which boasts that familiar rock sound from Aotearoa. The track is both easy to listen to with lyrics that are completely honest like “All I ever wanted was you, but you made it so hard”.

Last track on the 25 minute long disc is The Happy Couple, which feels a little more experimental at the beginning before getting down and dirty with that typical Cairo Knife Fight sound that is gaining more and more popularity by the day.

I imagine long-time fans of these guys, will be well impressed with such a ‘follow-up’ (if you can call it that) to their debut album released last year, and newbies will be both shocked and amazed that they’ve not heard of them sooner. Give it a whack.

 

About Cairo Knife Fight

Cairo Knife Fight is Nick Gaffaney, a man who has drummed his way around the place for many of New Zealand’s leading songwriters, and George Pajon Jr, a Grammy award winning songwriter and guitarist who has worked with some of the biggest names in the international music business including The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Carlos Santana, Macy Gray, John Legend, Sting, Nas and Damien Marley. Forming as a duo in 2009 Cairo Knife Fight try to redefine what two musicians can create live with Nick combining the responsibilities of playing drums, keyboard bass, creating live loops and lead vocals with George’s seemingly limitless guitar soundscapes and incendiary riffs. The bands long history of dedication to pushing the boundaries of music video content has also seen them achieve viral status with their 2014 single Rezlord being viewed more than 11.7 million times.

In short order the band shot to the attention of the public after gaining a standing ovation from a packed Opera House in Wellington following their support set for UK act Gomez in late 2009 and being hand picked by Them Crooked Vultures to open for their New Zealand tour in early 2010 July 2010 saw CKF release their self-titled EP. The first single This is Love was included on the NZ Radio Hit Disc for mid 2010 seeing it rated as one of the songs of the year. The EP went on to be nominated in the 'Best Rock Album' category at the New Zealand Music awards in 2011. 2010 also included a trip the NYC to perform during the CMJ festival (while not actually a part of CMJ the band came to the attention of several members of the team and found themselves on a CMJ bill at the Bowery Electric) and touring Australia.

2011 was an extraordinary year for CKF. It began with a NZ tour with NZ's rock hall of famers Shihad in January before Them Crooked Vultures front man Josh Homme once again requested CKF to be the opening act for his Queens of The Stone Age NZ tour in February, which was disrupted by the deadly earthquake in Cairo Knife Fights hometown of Christchurch. While dealing with the aftermath of such an horrendous event the band took solace in recording the follow up EP II, released in August 2011 to 5 star reviews and top 40 chart placing’s, and to appear as special guests of the Foo Fighters for an earthquake benefit concert in Auckland, NZ. CKF rounded out the year by again joining the Foo Fighters onstage at Western Springs in Auckland, New Zealand in front of 45,000 people for the band's Wasting Light tour. The concert is considered one of New Zealand's biggest ever stand-alone shows.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Cairo Knife Fight

Releases

Seven
Year: 2017
Type: Album
The Isolator
Year: 2015
Type: EP
The Colossus
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Cairo Knife Fight II
Year: 2011
Type: EP
Cairo Knife Fight
Year: 2010
Type: EP
Iron
Year: 2009
Type: Album

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