09 January 2012

Small Knives - rain on tin (Candle , 2003)

Once upon a time there was 2 Litre Dolby, a post-rock / post-hardcore Australian band, created in 1996, which released a 7", a few compilation tracks and an album, "El Caballo Rojo", and disbanded in 2001.

Not a band that can't be ignored but which offered at least a few (still) convincing tracks, like "Frida Kahlo".

History stutters.  Two members from 2 Litre Dolby, Leo Mullins and Philip Romeril started a new project called Small Knives, and they released two albums so far. "Rain on tin" (2003) is their debut. 

Not a classic album that shouldn't be missed, but a decent achievement presenting a few melancholic gems. 

There is complete change of style, with country tinged melancholic slow songs. At times it is not unlike records by Lullaby for the Working Class, Scud Mountain Boys, American Music Club or Radar Bros, but just more minimal and intimate downscaled to a two people band with a limited budget. 

Nothing extraordinary or particularly original, but there are interesting melancholic lo-fi songs, with the slowness of confessions, close to bedroom folk: "Bob's Blues", "Damaged", and  "Split".

On the other hand, there is a temptation for more pleasant to the ears, more melodic indie/ country songs, with a suspected Lemonheads influence: "The Line", "Hardin Your Heart" or "Flashlight". I find such songs less convincing, except "Paper Wings".

Finally it's when they join confession and a patient elaboration of atmosphere through some more sophistication, that something really remarkable is reached, both humble, patient and subtle, offering then a few slowcore gems : "Dreaming - The Sorrow Away", "Little Bit" and "Internal Fireworks".

Simply for these three orphaned songs, this record is worth discovering.

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