Knees & Bones – Controlled Bleeding (1985) – Review

“Knees and Bones” by Controlled Bleeding isn’t just an album; it’s a grimy, visceral, sonic experiment that feels like a fever dream of dystopian hues. The first thing one might notice is the album’s proclivity towards a cacophony of industrial noises and unsettling rhythms, which somehow seem meticulously orchestrated in their chaos. This album isn’t for the light-hearted, and it firmly anchors itself in a space where discomfort and intrigue collude to deliver an extraordinary auditory experience.

Navigating through “Knees and Bones” is like wandering through a labyrinth of abstract sounds, where every corner turned reveals a new texture, a novel abrasiveness, or an unexpected softness overshadowed by looming grimness. The relentless synthesis of mechanistic sounds, fierce distortions, and raw, unyielding beats craft an atmosphere that is both jarring and hypnotically engaging.

The tracks don’t just play; they unravel, unveiling layers of intensity and subtle sonic movements. Paul Lemos, the mind behind Controlled Bleeding, demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the industrial soundscape, ensuring that each track carries an identity, a unique presence within the tumultuous narrative of the album. There’s a consistency in the tumult, a theme of relentless exploration that doesn’t allow the listener to settle or find sonic solace in familiarity or predictability.

One of the remarkable attributes of “Knees and Bones” is its ability to maintain musicality amidst the chaos. The compositions, though bristling with harsh textures and severe tonalities, do not completely abandon a sense of rhythm and progression. There are moments, albeit fleeting, where the listener might find themselves caught in a strange harmony or a loop that holds a semblance of conventional musical understanding.

The album is unapologetic in its rawness, and it seems to demand a certain level of openness and endurance from the listener. It’s not about finding melodies to hum along to or rhythms to tap your feet to; it’s about immersing yourself in a soundscape that challenges, provokes, and defies conventional musical paradigms. Each track seems like a chapter of a story told not in words, but in a language of sound that speaks of tension, harshness, and the unfiltered realms of experimental noise.

While “Knees and Bones” holds historical significance in the annals of industrial and experimental music, it also stands as an album that necessitates a subjective interpretation. Every listener might find themselves extracting different elements and emotions, and therein lies the album’s cryptic beauty. It is a canvas painted with the broad strokes of industrial aggression and the finer lines of intricate noise manipulations, creating a masterpiece that resounds with the ethos of a genre that seeks to redefine the boundaries of musical exploration. Thus, “Knees and Bones” emerges not merely as a collection of tracks but as a vivid experience that etches memorable imprints in the listener’s sonic perception.

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