“Dear God, This Parachute is a Knapsack”
by Chad Jewett
Last year, on their debut 12,” A Lot Of Bad Things Happened But We’re Still Here, Two Knights utterly owned, then redefined, the spiraling, math-damaged aesthetic of contemporary emo. A simplified take on A Lot Of Bad Things would be satisfied to argue that it put the “jazz” in Cap’n Jazz, pushing expressive post-hardcore to its syncopated limits, with Parker Lawson’s guitar tangling around Miles DeBruin’s drums like yards of bright ribbon. But what made the record even more fascinating (and complex) was how listenable the band’s avant garde approach actually was. It was an absolute gift that A Lot Of Bad Things (along with CYLS roster-mates Foxing and The Albatross) was both emo’s most progressive and likable 2013 LP. Two Knights are now in a league of their own, playing a game they invented.
“Dear God, This Parachute is a Knapsack” (this band has a knack for finding midnight-dark humor in failure and chagrin), our first listen from their upcoming LP, Shut Up, is similarly adept at blending the duo’s off-kilter cubism with the kinds of melodies other singers hate themselves for not having thought up first. Beginning with ivy coils of Kinsella-esque guitars, the band quickly rives their beautifully unspooling slow-core with discordant slabs of low-end quake, loosing uncanny tremors amongst otherwise beautiful surroundings. Lawson also maintains his stunning commitment to emotional language that neither blames nor vilifies, plaintively musing: “But I can’t blame you / For how much it hurt / You never knew / How fragile I was / How ready to fall into what I thought was love.” The song comes and goes in under two minutes, long enough for DeBruin and Lawson to scatter and re-convene around their left-field version of bright indie-math, long enough to tell a story and somehow try to be fair to everyone involved. Like the record that preceded it, “Dear God” is a serious achievement from emo’s most exciting talents.