Track Marks: How The Knife Became This Week’s Biggest Band In The World

Maura / November 6, 2006

Welcome to another edition of Track Marks, where your Idolators perform an autopsy on the latest MP3-blog sensation. Today, we look at the Swedish electro duo The Knife, whose Google Blogsearch results have been off the charts in the wake of their American live debut.

Artist: The Knife
Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden
Album: Silent Shout, 2006
First online mention: Back in 2003, Matthew Perpetua at Fluxblog talked about how he “couldn’t get enough” of the band’s breakthrough single “Heartbeats.”
The Build-Up: Silent Shout was originally released in April, and it appeared on a handful of half-year best-ofs in the summer. Since then, they’ve been a pretty steady presence on both the Hype Machine and elbo.ws.
The Dam-Break: The Knife played four U.S. shows this week, and the write-ups were pretty much rhapsodic across the board; Fluxblog, Stereogum, The Merry Swankster, and a bunch of other people who were in town for CMJ attended the pair of NYC shows, while marathonpacks hit the band’s LA appearance.
Odds of Backlash: 9-1, although the Sheila E. comparison floated on Rob Harvilla’s Village Voice blog entry could be a harbinger of the dismissals they’ll see in the coming months.
Are They Worthy?: For the first time in the history of Track Marks, we can pretty much answer this question with an unequivocal “yes.” The chilly, arresting Silent Shout is one of our favorite records of the year, and the Knife’s NYC show was, in fact, that good; their projection-filled staging and masking, both physical and aural, of themselves to the audience turned the concept of “live performance” on its head in a breathtaking way.

The Knife – Like A Pen [MP3, link expired]
The Knife – One Hit [MP3, link expired]
The Knife [Official site]