Knife The Symphony
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Knife The Symphony

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Knife The Symphony - Crawler"

“Knife the Symphony makes lacerating Post Punk that recalls the days when words like “Indie” and “Alternative” didn’t exist, Touch & Go and Dischord ruled the underground and those types of musicians had to make due exclusively in the underground (which was fine by them). True to that D.I.Y. ethos, the band’s recent album, Crawler, not only came out on vinyl, but was released by Phratry Records, the local label run by the band members.

Rhythmically propulsive, Crawler is driven by Dirr and bassist Robyn Roth, who create a relentless backbeat that is both inescapably muscular and endlessly creative (Math Rock-y, but fast, pointed and switchblade-sharp). Guitarist Jeff Albers’ guitar is lacerating, crawling and scratching between the adrenaline-laced grooves like a wild animal on the prowl. Albers and Roth provide vocals and their disparate, distinctive voices create an engaging duality—Albers high-wire wail is anxious and heated, while Roth’s lush, more mannered style recalls the female vocals of My Bloody Valentine.

The throttle remains on high virtually from start to finish on Crawler, which tends to make some of the songs indistinctly bleed into one. But the band’s tightness and ability to blend instrumental precision with a “let it all hang out” fieriness is thoroughly engaging.” - City Beat Magazine

"Knife The Symphony - Live Review"

“[Knife The Symphony] will make your head hurt and your ears bleed. Dark, heavy and loud, the trio creates a sound that continues to grow until it suddenly explodes. Knife the Symphony: a symphony of razor-sharp noise.” - Broken Mic

"Knife The Symphony - Crawler 12" Vinyl"

“KTS’s influences make themselves apparent throughout the album (this band definitely likes the Dischord label), but with the mix of Robyn Roth’s soft vocals and the Guy Picciotto-like yells of guitarist/singer Jeff Albers, the band is trying to create something new… blaring guitar work and a punchy bass line are surefire ways to rile any crowd up.” - Wonka Vision Magazine

"Knife The Symphony - Crawler"

“The album is forty minutes of finely crafted post-hardcore filled with the sort of gripping rhythms that were the centerpiece of many great bands in the early to mid 90’s. Knife the Symphony succeed heavily on Crawler by thriving on pure power and emotion. It’s moody melodic driven post-hardcore that anyone who considers themselves a fan of the genre will definitely want to investigate further.” - Built On A Weak Spot

"Knife The Symphony - Crawler"

“Spastic scrambles of art rock genius” - Roctober Magazine Issue 46

"Knife The Symphony - Crawler"

“Emo the way it was meant to be played, like it’s straight from 1985.” - Muse Bin

"Knife The Symphony - Dead Tongues"

“Cincinnati’s Knife The Symphony creates a stirring sense of urgency typically associated with the kind of rattling post-hardcore and punk that played so heavily in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s on labels like Dischord, Touch And Go, and Alternative Tentacles. And like the great Fugazi before it, KTS shows an intense sense of direction, a three-piece functioning as one but with production clean enough to allow each layer of music to stand out on its own, especially Jeff Albers’ coarse, angry yelling/singing. This year’s Dead Tongues manages to crystallize a lot of the band’s fury into a relatively svelte six-song setting.” - The Onion (Madison, WI) Vol 46 / Issue 19

"Knife The Symphony - Dead Tongues"

"KTS wail like your father’s emo greats of yesteryear, locating their nucleus in ground between the late 80’s Dischord and Touch & Go labels—where Ohio happens to also sit, geographically. The banging, whirling, ridiculously rhythmic post-punk emo attack is a wonder, especially given the generous cool down periods of sinister slowcore quiet they interject… these guys are inhuman.” - Big TakeOver Magazine Issue 65

"Knife the Symphony revive the punk aesthetic, musically and otherwise"

I heard Knife the Symphony’s Dead Tongues, and I feel much better about the state of rebellious music. Knife the Symphony plays loud, dissonant, unconventional rock music that has the tempos of punk, but the chords and artistic aesthetic of post-hardcore. Except in the hypnotic “Sold Out (In an Empty Room),” the vocalist doesn’t bother with melody9 he just screams when he feels like it. It’s hardly rhythmic, and the lyrics are almost entirely unintelligible. If I played this for almost anyone who likes the radio, they would hate it.

And I’m sure that pleases Knife the Symphony. Their songs ooze punk/DIY attitude, from the album art (a commissioned painting, it appears) to the complicated inner casing and artwork to the note that their version of “Fallout” by Hornet is only available on the vinyl of this album. The fact that there is a vinyl of this album is awesome. The fact that Hornet, as far as I can tell, is a local band from Kalamazoo, Michigan, makes their choice of cover even more awesome. To top it all off, their MySpace tagline is “you’re going to need earplugs.” This is punk rock.

Knife the Symphony’s Dead Tongues features great songs, like the blistering “Without Parallels” and the dissonant “At the Races.” And the songs are the draw, because without great songs, all this punk attitude is pointless. Knife the Symphony is talented, and that’s not to be overlooked in all this. But it’s their aesthetic that so pleases me. Dead Tongues is definitely one of the most important things I’ve heard in a long time. The punk aesthetic is alive, and Knife the Symphony knows it. Keep at it.” - Independent Clauses

"LKN / Knife The Symphony Split"

“We always marvel at the ferocity and tightfisted aggression of Ohio slashers Knife The Symphony. Garnering comparisons to Jawbox and Squirrel Bait—hallowed references!—they don’t fall flat, because unlike many postpunk bands, the Cincinnati trio aren’t so angular they neglect some muscular, storming punk fire. Rarer, they’re dynamically diverse; note the couple-minutes breakdown into near silence then back into full rage midway through the seven minute monster “Flat Time.” Not many have the command to subtly, slowly quash and then reclaim heavy volume over such a long stretch, and all three of their cuts are as liberating as crushing. - Big TakeOver Magazine Issue 67

"Knife The Symphony - Dead Tongues"

“You know, the cutting-edge hipster music blog Pitchfork recently gave the reissue of Jawbox’s last album a rave review, so the time is possibly right for early-‘90’s style post-hardcore. Knife The Symphony has a little Squirrel Bait, a little Drive Like Jehu, and yes, a little Jawbox. In other words, all the best touch points for this kind of music without sounding like a rip-off of any one in particular. Some of the melodic intros get a bit meandering for my tastes and the songs are a tad long (on hits over seven minutes!), but the loud, faster parts are ripping. Definitely worth checking out if any of that sounds appealing.” - Maximum Rock N Roll Issue 321


"LKN/Knife The Symphony Split" 12” LP / CD / MP3 (Phratry, 2011)
"Dead Tongues" 12" LP / CD / MP3 (Phratry, 2009)
"Crawler" 12" LP / CD / MP3 (Phratry, 2008)
"Knife The Symphony" CD / MP3 (Phratry, 2007)



Formed in January 2006, Knife The Symphony quickly began writing and recording. Within months, the band recorded a five-song EP and played a string of tour dates. In true DIY spirit, no time is ever wasted and there isn’t any waiting around. The band possesses a sincere energy and desire to write, record and play.

Featuring former members of Ampline and Theraphosa, as well as current members of Mala In Se and Autumn Rising, Knife The Symphony’s sound has evolved over the years. The band’s self-titled EP, Knife The Symphony (2007) was of a more mid-tempo approach with huge drums and bass and layers of sound—reminiscent of Unwound. Their full-length follow up, Crawler (2008) was a full-on, pedal-to-the-floor, sonic assault—more in line with Husker Du, Jawbox and a lot of early nineties Dischord bands. On the band’s second LP, Dead Tongues (2009), KTS combined both schools of thought from each of their previous releases, but matured to explore a more mellow/contemplative as well, frequently delving into stretched-out moments of the spacey, shoe-gazer variety. And all three releases featured an interesting male/female vocal dynamic. With the release of the LKN (Phratry) / Knife The Symphony Split in 2010, you can throw maturity out the window. Just a few months after the release of Dead Tongues, Knife The Symphony experienced a lineup change, resulting in a more aggressive, energetic and dirtier approach to the music.

Knife The Symphony is influenced by art, skate culture, film and music. Musically, the band’s influences range from punk, post-punk and post-hardcore of the 1980’s and 90’s to world music and straight-ahead rock. Now in their thirties, the band members grew up listening to anything they could—from the first sounds ever heard on MTV in the early 80’s to metal, reggae and anything ever released by Dischord, SST, Touch & Go (and everything in between). It all comes out in their own music, but their energy and passion is their own.