16 Nov 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Secret Knives - Album Review: Snuff

05 Nov 2019 // A review by Mike Alexander

The knives have been sharpened and the secret is out – Ash Smith hasn’t “snuffed” it.  He’s just spent the best part of a decade redefining himself as Secret Knives, the alias he uses to channel his creative muse,  and refining the follow-up to 2010’s low fi pop high-flier Affection. All the normal cliches apply here – the wilderness years have been well spent. 

Snuff is a glorious, if somewhat long overdue, return from exile from an artist who literally explodes into a poetic rush on the opening track Spinning Top with blistering intensity and giddy chorus. And if the lyrical imagery is somewhat self-effacing, there’s nothing shy or ungainly about the way they are carefully hand-wrapped.

The bulk of the 10 songs are vividly sprung with hallelujah melodies and hooks that are creeping, enveloping joys. The search for self-definition and understanding on songs such as the title track, Imposter Syndrome and the sparkling excess of Excess is not so much heard as felt.

Smith's spidery vocals are beautifully spun in an offbeat silky fashion. The voice is crushingly searching, deeply melodic, almost woozy at times, and when the knife cuts it’s deeper than any wound that anyone else could inflict. Most of the “savagery” as such is felt through his guitar playing, which screeches and squeals at various times and simply keens at others.

Snuff may well be the comeback of the decade. 

NB: There’s a bonus digital only collection of “exploratory ambient instrumentals written alongside Snuff.  It’s appropriately titled Ashley Smith's Blue Period.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

Releases

Snuff
Year: 2019
Type: Album
My Capriccio
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Black Hole
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Affection
Year: 2010
Type: Album
The Wolves
Year: 2008
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Mike Alexander

Trepidations: Double Single Review: You Can Never Be Sure & Say Anything
12 Nov 2019 // by Mike Alexander
It might be a mere perversity, but in typical punk fashion Trepidations have dispensed with the formalities of surnames and are just known as Will, Heath and Jared, at least on Bandcamp. Their Facebook page reveals otherwise – Will Saunders, Heath King and Jack Danger.
Read More...
Album Review: SoundDome
08 Nov 2019 // by Mike Alexander
The SoundDome in Wellington is an experimental sound space, fitted out with 25-speakers that act like the audio equivalent of the capital’s famed transmission gully. Compositions whir and reverberate within its structure adding unexpected resonance to what was originally intended.
Read More...
The Impending Adorations - Album Review: Alliances 1: A Handful Of Dust
26 Oct 2019 // by Mike Alexander
Just a month after delivering the latest The Impending Adorations album, Allies, Paul McLaney announced, via Facebook, “a big day in music” with the release of the single Loose Ends by Her Own Medicine, a band of which he is a member, and the EP Alliances 1: A Handful Of Dust, a collaboration with Jakob guitarist Jeff Boyle. The Alliances EP is a game-changer in so far as it is a welcome return to recording for Boyle (he’s apparently working on another Jakob album) and suggests that McLaney will also be working with kindred souls on other collaborations.
Read More...
The Impending Adorations - Album Review: Allies
23 Oct 2019 // by Mike Alexander
Paul McLaney is one of those artists who never fails to get me where I’m most vulnerable, least alive and yet open to the possibility of being transported somewhere beyond myself. I’ve been listening to Allies, his latest release as Impending Adorations, while attempting to rediscover a new purpose in an old life.
Read More...
View All Articles By Mike Alexander

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DANCE MONKEY
    Tones And I
  • ROXANNE
    Arizona Zervas
  • CIRCLES
    Post Malone
  • MEMORIES
    Maroon 5
  • CATCHING FEELINGS
    DRAX Project feat. Six60
  • HOT GIRL BUMMER
    blackbear
  • LOSE YOU TO LOVE ME
    Selena Gomez
  • DON'T START NOW
    Dua Lipa
  • HIGHEST IN THE ROOM
    Travis Scott
  • GOOD AS HELL (REMIX)
    Lizzo feat. Ariana Grande
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem