Kentucky Knife Fight's New Album Hush Hush: Review and Listen (For a Limited Time)



Hush Hush: Wherein the St. Louis-via-Edwardsville band marries its bluesy barroom blitzes with a cinematic scope. For its third full-length, the quintet remains clouded in cigarette smoke and dark-tinted glasses, but there's a touch of the auteur with how the album is assembled.

See More: -Kentucky Knife Fight's Late Night Ride: Watch the New Video Here -2011 RFT Music Awards Winners: Best Rock Band: Kentucky Knife Fight

Take, for instance, the 45-second "Theme for No One," which introduces "Love the Lonely" with a bit of spacious mood music. The "Paper Flowers" suite is more ambitious: The triptych is spread out throughout the album and presented in reverse order, opening with a piano-and-Mellotron vignette that owes a little to Frank's Wild Years-era Tom Waits. It's a disparate form of storytelling for a band that prefers a bash-'em-out style of song craft (and there's plenty of that on Hush Hush), and the bookends of the album find singer Jason Holler turning his twangy yelp into an intimate whisper.

That delivery, paired with the hillbilly-noir ambience the band has more or less trademarked, shows the marks of growth that weren't readily evident on last year's "Misshapen Love" / "Love the Lonely" 7-inch (both of those tracks appear here). By the time the stabbing cellos kick in at the end of "Paper Flowers One," the movement feels complete.

As mentioned, there is plenty of Kentucky Knife Fight's trademark boogie and swagger alongside its more art-directed interludes. The punctuated boogie of "Father" might be the best of the bunch here, showing a band that can inject a little looseness and rock song dynamics. A breathless coda finds Holler spitting a recurring quatrain as the band hammers away in the background.

Kentucky Knife Fight - STEVE TRUESDELL
  • Steve Truesdell
  • Kentucky Knife Fight

Guitarists Curt Brewer and Nate Jones remain sonic foils on most tracks, with one offering spindly leads and the other handing out big, brash strokes. "Love the Lonely" mines this interplay especially well, treading some intersection of jazz, blues and classic rock tropes. The title track picks up some of the languor from "Lonely" and turns it toward a more straight-ahead rocker, with some greasy organ filling in the cracks. Hush Hush is the album that the band needed to make; it doesn't abandon Knife Fight's core sound but widens the lens with a greater focus on storytelling and mood setting.

The album can be streamed in its entirety for free at present through the band's Tunespeak page -- but only through Thursday, so don't sleep.

See also: -Crotching Whiskey at the Justin Bieber Concert and Getting Thrown Out: A Review -The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever -The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever

Follow RFT Music on Twitter or Facebook. But go with Twitter. Facebook blows.


Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.