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Issue: February 2010

Big Leap for Some Louisville Talent

Knock Alley West (Independent)
Yardsale

If you've heard Yardsale before, you'll be surprised by the giant leap forward they've taken with Knock Alley West. And if you haven't heard them before, you'll think you've just discovered your new favorite local band.

The musical talent of 57 people is concentrated into the core quintet of Kirk Kiefer, Jacob Lee, Chris Scott, Colin Garcia and Andrew Rhinehart, and Knock is a perfect showcase for what these guys can do. The album starts with the honky-tonky "Until I Can't Remember," which has the twang and attitude of a country-fried Hives tune. While the atmosphere is loose and liquored-up, the musicianship is tight and superior.

What makes Knock a transcendent CD is the depth and breadth of the songs. The highlight is "Mississippi's Flooding," a dark, minor-key song with haunting Katrina-inspired imagery that ends with a frenetic jam that must have left the band's fingers bleeding. But that song's heaviness is buoyed by up-tempo tunes like "Happy in My Misery" and "Dream of Amarillo." Taken all together, Knock is a rich, multi-layered masterpiece.

The only, well, knock on Knock is that sometimes Yardsale tries to cram two pounds of music into a one-pound bag. While songs like "Porkitty Popcorn" and "Secondhand Girlfriend" are as enjoyable as the rest of the album, at times there's too much going on (a fast-paced guitar riff, a double-time beat and the lyrics) to take it all in.

But that's like complaining about Cindy Crawford's looks because of her mole. Better to simply to enjoy the work of five guys who not only know how to write songs but deliver them with earnestness and style.

Knock on over to www.yardsaleband.com to find out more.

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