The two-man band is not a new idea, but emo has been doing it a pretty big amount of justice in recent times. Two Knights‘ new 10″ A Lot of Bad Things Have Happened, But We’re Still Here proves that through some exhilarating musicianship and pretty damn catchy songwriting. Even with a couple growing pains, Two Knights’ knack for guitar acrobatics and emotionally tugging lyricism makes this a pretty great introduction to what they can do as musicians – making this a must listen for any fan of noodley emo or gripping indie rock.
The combination of tongue-in-cheek humor, DGAF attitude and brash emotion on Bad Things makes a wave in your mind before you even hit play. I mean, come on – I don’t know the entirety behind the purpose of a track name like “Devonte’s Inferno,” but any play on the Divine Comedy is a good one in my book. That boldness converts over to the musical output pretty soundly – the vocals are a tad whiny and at times over the top, the guitar lines tapping and flying at times and the general songwriting bouncing between upbeat noodles and slow, swelling lines of moodiness. Even if it’s a little raw and perhaps a bit unrefined, the band’s drive shows much more than some unorthodox vocals should hold them back.
“I’m Your Dad and You’re My Dad” shows this right in stride, opening with lush, lumbering pulses before journeying through some adventurous licks in up-and-down tempo moments that dare you not to get lost in them. If you’re looking for something a bit crazier, “D4: What the Puck?” jams an off-kilter beat with looping rhythms that drive into your head, while slow-jammers will be sucked into the main bit of “It Sucks When You Hate Everyone” – whether it be through the guitars or the relatable, heart-wrenching poetic lyrics that unfold in the midst of such riffs.
The thing is, Two Knights might not be the most polished emo band around – which would be saying a lot considering the production of such bands and how the genre as a whole sounds. But there’s something here that can be appreciated hopefully by fans both in and out of the genre: a keen sense of musicianship and plenty of emotionally connecting lyrics that identify with searching, loss and self-reflection. Give these guys a try – you won’t be disappointed if you give them a fair chance.