Raucous, enveloping and resonant. Three words that appropriately describe the output produced by Cambridge four-piece Bloody Knees since the release of their vigorous, inaugural self-titled EP last year. Now returning with their new EP ‘Stitches‘ and it’s grunge-punk leading single ‘Daydream‘, you can add a certain maturity to that definition.
Releasing the record through a leading light in boisterous, captivating Alternative-Rock in Dog Knights Productions (Home to Nai Harvest & Playlounge), ‘Stitches‘ looks set to be a meaner, tighter and darker approach from the band, without them losing any of their ferocity and melodic approach.
‘Daydream‘ propels into life in the form of squalling feedback, a familiarly infectious BK melody leads it’s way into frontman Bradley Griffiths‘ throaty bawl, each part sounding more dynamic and tighter from their developing experience and production from the conductor of melodic noise Rory Atwell (Warm Brains) and long-time buddy of the band James Napier Stuart. Yet they’ve in no way lost their brooding intensity through their advancement in recording, it has become a catalyst to divulge it further and enjoy a part of the their work at it’s most exciting.
Retaining their melodic stance further enhances the track, Griffiths screaming blood over another distorted hook that’ll be imbedded in your brain as much as the frontman’s calling of “Open my mouth, there’s no sound, head in the clouds, think out loud.” Lyrically the band remain introspective, purging boredom and dreaming of escapism, Griffiths sounding near exhaustion as he bellows “I’m drunk, I’m giving up, I’m afraid I’ve become stuck.“, their ability to draft feelings of despondency into rousing anthems makes for a truly reviving listen.
Talking about the new EP and the development of the band as a whole, Bradley Griffiths spoke positively on Bloody Knees;
Q: Your back with a new EP, ‘Stitches’, which is coming out on Dog Knights Productions, what was it about DKP that appealed to you all as a label?
“I’ve been a fan of Dog Knights for quite a while, they put out some really decent and really interesting bands. Our mates Ben & Lew from Nai Harvest were the ones that suggested it to Darren (owner of Dog Knights). We’re dead happy about it, Darren is quality and has put a lot of effort into the release. ”
Q: You worked with Rory Atwell and James Napier Stuart as producers for the record, how did they influence the output that you’ve created?
“We recorded our first EP with JNS, he’s one of our best mates and is so bloody talented. Working with him is a dream and recording these new songs with him was brilliant because we’ve all learned a whole lot since that first EP so we were able to get some wicked results. It’s such a good environment to get creative in because everyone is already mates and comfortable suggesting things or trying out new stuff. We worked with Rory for the tracks on the Birdskulls split and some on this EP. His studio is on a boat, which was bloody brilliant.”
Q: How do you feel about this record compared to when you released ‘Bloody Knees’ or the split with Birdskulls?
“We’ve been excited about every release! The first EP was exciting because it was our first release. The Birdskulls split was amazing because we love those guys and it’s so good to have a record out with a bunch of your mates! This EP is exciting because it’s now been a year since the last EP and we’ve got a lot better since then. We can’t wait to get it out.”
Q: ‘Daydream’ sounds like Bloody Knees at the strongest you’ve sounded, do you feel like you’ve evolved as a band in terms of songwriting / recording on this release?
“Thanks! Yeah we have definitely evolved. For that first EP I primarily wrote all the songs and music because we hadn’t been together too long. This record has been much more collaborative and we took our time with it. I really think it shows.”
Q: Compared to the self-titled EP, sonically you sound more mature and have taken a darker route from the punk leanings of the EP but have retained the angst and energy, would you agree and was that a conscious decision or did it happen naturally?
“Yeah I’d say that’s a fair observation! We just got better at what we were doing and found our way to this ‘sound’ naturally.”
Q: While having a ferocity within your music you have always had a obvious melodic vibe, do you have influences that perhaps have led to you creating music in this way?
“Whenever writing, the most important thing for me is for it to be catchy, something that is going to stick with people. A strong melody is key, and it’s fun! I wouldn’t say it was any band in particular I take most influence from but bands like Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio and Saves The Day who I have been listening to for years now, all have a certain ferocity at points but still having catchy, melodic, sing-along tracks.”
Q: Your live shows retain and enhance the vitality you contain as a group, adding even more dynamism to your music. Do you think your music thrives in a live setting or do you take more from a studio recording?
“Playing live is my favourite thing to do. We recorded as much of the record as we could ‘live’ all together to try and replicate the performance side of it. So I would definitely say that we thrive in a live setting. It’s the best way to hear BK for sure.”