With That Knife - This Place, A Thousand Times

Simon Jay Catling 01/03/2010

Rating: 4/5

With That Knife- now a far flung bunch of souls who still call Manchester their touch point- don't do things quickly. At almost a year of waiting, the release of their first official single has been a while coming- a sharp contrast to the breakneck tempo and juddering gear changes of the group's math-tinged post-hardcore.

In these intervening months, though, something's changed in the five-piece; and 'This Place, A Thousand Times' is the brilliant proof of that. Put simply, they seem to have found a focus, and have channelled their many influences into something undeniably their's. Pretty good for a debut single. The shape shifting nature of their music still exists here, but things are moved around now with rubix-solving calculation more than hasty whim: the tense coil of synth repetition at the A-side's outset gives way in glorious fashion to a cascading waterfall of frantic but melodic sound. From then on it's an excitingly disorienting listen, the refrain of "I've seen this place before I'm sure/ I've seen that face a thousand times" being neither chorus nor verse, instead an interlude between With That Knife galloping off on another overblown trajectory (oh, and this all happens within three and a half minutes by the way.)

B-side 'Excuse? Me!' is good too, if more orthodox than its sibling- the simple verse/chorus structure is comparatively dull compared to the structural fireworks of what's gone before. When it's delivered with such surging energy though it's hard not to like; there's almost a feeling of desperation to hurtle through to the end as quickly as possible, like the group are taking a breath and spilling their guts before their brains warn them otherwise. After months of waiting, this change to gut instinct has really paid dividends, let's hope it's not a year till the next one.

This Place, A Thousand Times by withthatknife