Back in 2011, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen stole our hearts with Knife Party‘s first EP, 100% No Modern Talking. Aggressive, horror-stricken dubstep was what the people wanted, and that’s exactly what they delivered. Having played a pivotal role in dance music as members of both Pendulum and Knife Party, these two producers have nailed an iconic sound. Their newest EP, Trigger Warning, is a valiant attempt to return to their roots, but falls a bit short, and has left us wondering what took so long.
Continuing with their satire on all of EDM, the EP opens up with “PLUR Police,” a big room tune with belching lines of irony. It’s got all the requisite vocal samples and raucous behavior of a Knife Party production, centering around poking fun at EDM’s current state of affairs. But remember, Knife Party dropped a little track called “LRAD” which sparked the entire craze, so they’re allowed.
Next up is “Parliament Funk,” a magnificent return to the party of knives we originally fell in love with. It’s got spooky keyboard hits, a menacing string introduction, and ghoulish synth pads to complete the throwback atmosphere. Delicious, low-end chugs supplement the harsh topline, the encompassing percussion is on point, and there’s even a twinge of metal tossed in. Honestly, this is everything a Knife Party fan wants to hear, and definitely the standout track of Trigger Warning (besides the Jauz remix, of course).
An echoing alarm sounds the heartbeat of “Kraken,” readying for the drop of another big room styled jam. Sure, they threw in some Mortal Kombat screaming in the background, but the breakdown falls flat after such a promising build. The duo clearly recycled the marimbas of Abandon Ship, which makes for some nice continuity, but overall, the track doesn’t make a huge impression.
Finally is Jauz’s interpretation of “PLUR Police,” and by far, it’s the biggest production of the EP. Look at it however you may, but this is definitely a passing of the torch in some sense. Essentially, Jauz is giving today’s scene what Knife Party provided in 2011: kinetic, gritty, cathartic music. It’s rife with all the aggro chopper blades of today’s bass culture, packs the snarls of the filthiest half-time breakdowns, and plays all over Knife Party’s original framework.
For the most part, Trigger Warning is a solid EP, but isn’t quite on par with the quality we’d expect from Knife Party.
Trigger Warning is an enjoyable release, but certainly isn't on par with the quality we expect from Knife Party.