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Cairo Knife Fight - Album review: The Colossus

11 Jun 2015 // A review by Alistar3000

Having seen Cairo Knife Fight perform live many times over the past few years I’d always been under the assumption they were performing songs from a number of prior recordings. So I was a little surprised to discover that The Colossus was actually their first album (they do have a few EPs recorded), and more surprised to find that long time guitarist Aaron Tokona (AHoriBuzz) was no longer a key part of the band, and makes only a small appearance on the album – with that revelation I didn’t know what to expect when I pressed play.

I needn’t have been concerned. With Nick Gaffeney at the helm and a team of collaborators that includes Laughton Kora (Kora), Joel Haines (who seems to have played with a who’s who of NZ talent), and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees), this album couldn’t fail. There’s nothing about it I don’t like, from the Nine Inch Nails-esque opening of the title track, to the jaunty rock feel of Rezlord (which is almost like a cross between Muse and Alice in Chains at times), right through to the overdriven, yet plaintive finale of Die Young. All of it is good, all of it needs repeated listening.

It’s a more mature, confident recording than the previous EPs, with a harder, and more polished edge to it. And it sounds big. Really big. This is an album that’s made to be played loud, through some big speakers – it’s the only way to really experience it.

I’m going to throw it out there – this could be the best local rock album this year. I just can’t stop listening to it, and it just gets better with every listen.

 

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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