Tiny Knives - Black Haze [Eolian Empire - 2016]Eolian Empire presents Black Haze, the new vinyl LP by Tiny Knives. The Portland punk trio of Ursula Morton, Jamey Anderson, and Jai Milx have been kicking for 6 years
Tiny Knives blasts through 8 tracks that are certainly 77’ era punk at their core, yet go off in many weird directions. I’m all for merging and borrowing several styles and sounds, but over the album’s course we go off into near metal territory. It’s an odd duck to say the least. That said, there were some tracks that I found appealing. We get some pretty straightforward punk rock with “Past Tense,” played with a lot of speed and some nice growly vocals. My favorite tracks on the album are “Cowspiracy” and “Magic Xians.” Both tracks comes off as equal parts Penis Envy era Crass and His Hero is Gone, with the former featuring vocals that alternate from spoken word to raspy and snarled. Slow moments, chunkier guitar stylings, and ballad singing pepper the rest of the punk/metal onslaught to create quite the sonic stew.
Upon first listen, I wasn’t really enthused about Black Haze, however I found that subsequent listens had me singing a different tune. My initial reticence likely has more to do with my own jadedness towards punk than any issues I have with Tiny Knives, but that’s another story. Black Haze, taking influences from some of the best that the U.K. and the Pacific Northwest has to offer, makes for some solid punk jams.Hal Harmon