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Cairo Knife Fight - EP Review: The Isolator EP

13 Feb 2015 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Debuting at #3 on the New Zealand Chart, Cairo Knife Fight’s The Isolator EP is finally out and Gaffaney (Nick, the man with the band) has done it again.

Done what exactly? I’ve been waiting for a 90’s style Renaissance of the Rock since… well, the nineties. As I get decades older by the day, I find myself more and more isolated by the music “the young people” are listening to. Finally, in Cairo Knife Fight I’ve found one of those releases that come only once in a long while that I can actually listen to without waving my walking stick at the stereo.

That isn’t saying this EP only appeals to aging bogans, like myself. The Isolator EP is a fusion of what’s cool now and hip back in the day; both a return to rock roots and a reinvention of the psychedelic scene. Listen to the titular track, The Isolator, and you’ll see what I mean. The heavy chug of the guitar with the squeak of synth over Hard Rock drumming. I’ve had this track on repeat since I got the album.

Also featured on the EP are the latest two singles, No Longer Silent and RezLord.

The newest single No Longer Silent is like a shimmering pool of reverb over a deep rock pit. There’s something in the vocals of this song that makes me think of Queens of the Stone Age, a certain tone in a pre-chorus. It’s what U2 would sound like if they didn’t suck.

If you’re a fan of the band, you may have already read my review of their first single RezLord. Although only half a minute longer than the single cut, the album version of RezLord is the better for the EP. Perhaps unnoticeable to some, those extra seconds of reverb and pulsation add an enhanced sense of ebb and flow.

I didn’t have the Cairo Knife Fight Summer tour (reviewed here) to punctuate my anticipation since the release of the RezLord single, The Isolator EP was worth the wait (but I still eagerly await a full-length).

If you’re into good New Zealand rock albums, like Shihad’s FVEY and Decortica’s 11811, then Cairo Knife Fight belongs in your collection. The Isolator EP is highly recommended by me, and is the best album I’ve heard this year.

 

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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