AAn old drum kit. Homemade amps. A dented old trombone. A bucket and a handful of firecrackers. The Reeks make a sound that is otherworldly. Dark and stumbling, folk-flecked basement blues. A mix of woozy slide guitar, swampy trombone, sparse and erratic percussion, tape hiss, amp buzz, shortwave interference and dark doomy brilliance. Like a ghostly, indie rock New Orleans funeral jazz band or Roland S. Howard fronting the Dead C. Haunting, mesmerizing, gorgeously raucous, dreamily creepy and absolutely unlike anything you have ever heard.
For years the Reeks played all up and down the West Coast, basements, back porches, living rooms, pizza parlours, with only a 12" and a battered old suitcase full of hand dubbed cassettes to their name, spreading their warm cloak of pulsing, droning creepy crawly throb over anyone lucky enough to be packed into the same sweaty space. At once jubilant and danceable, but at the same time, dark and lugubrious, ominous and somnabulent. Lovers of weird music couldn't get enough, but eventually, even dyed in the wool indie rockers began to embrace the Reeks, having perhaps found something that still smacked of their beloved indie rock, but was a little darker and a whole lot weirder than they were used to. But by then it was too late.
The release of Knife Hits is truly bittersweet. After years of recording and re-recording, mixing and remixing, when Knife Hits was finally ready to be released, and the rest of the world would finally get to hear the Reeks' amazing off kilter avant indie funeral folk, Orion Satushek, Reeks mainman, guitar player, instrument builder and one of the nicest guys ever, was tragically hit and killed by a drunk driver. The personal loss, is indescribable, a deep sting everytime we think about him, his band, his music, his friendship. But the loss to music, to the music community, is immeasurable. Years of playing, and practicing and rocking and sweating in tiny cramped basements and doing with a crappy old drum kit and a couple of homemade amps what most bands can't do with all the equipment in the world is somehow all crammed onto this single disc. These ten songs. The passion, the playfulness, the dark moodiness, the spaced out droniness, the wild sweaty chaos, the sheer joy of making an unholy racket. This record is not only a totally unique chunk of damaged outsider rock brilliance, but it's also a fitting tribute to a friend we will never get over losing.
We miss you, Orion.
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