Elevate Difference


The second project of New York collective The Book of Knots, Traineater is the melancholy tale of the fall of the great steel and mining towns in the American Midwest. It’s like the soundtrack for an apocalyptic Greyhound bus ride I once took - under the abandoned and boarded up brick buildings of Detroit, past the old Buick plant in Flint where my Dad used to work, the windows busted where kids with no future job prospects stayed out late to throw rocks. In my mind, the music from Traineater blends into the slow rolling of the wheels of the bus, the many guest vocalists fading in and out like the people on the bus telling stories of bad luck, betrayal and hope.

The haunting voice of Carla Kihlestedt on songs like “Traineater,” “Salina” and the spoken word piece “Hewitt-Smithson” were highlights of the album for me. Fans of noisy, discordant rock won’t skip over the Carla Bozulich’s introduction track or “The Ballad of John Henry” as much as I did; these loud pieces are more reminiscent of how the Rust Belt cities used to be before all the factories moved overseas. The other tracks are a comforting reflection of the quiet desperation that characterizes these cities now. Post-globalization, entrenched in the war, prison and detention economy – thanks to The Book of Knots for chronicling the promises made and broken.

Written by: Jessica Whatcott, February 24th 2007

great review. and jessica, you are so hot...