The Knife reached yet another pinnacle with ‘Silent Shout’. After the effervescent, Eurodisco-tinged pop of their 2003 album, ‘Deep Cuts’, the Dreijers developed a dark parallel world on their 2006 follow-up. With menacing electronics rooted in early techno and identity masking via the art of pitch shifting, The Knife used their platform to subvert institutional structures and challenge social norms. They were a band with something to say and people were listening.
For all its clean air, the isolated community they were raised in was suffocatingly patriarchal. The weight of gendered expectations almost too much to bear. In that context, ‘Silent Shout’ is a protest album of sorts. Songs like ‘Forest Families’ and ‘One Hit’ gnash their teeth at the pressure that sexism, homophobia and capitalism exert. The album’s sometimes eerie interpretation of 90s techno and trance - a formative era for both siblings - proved the perfect foil for the stinging social realism of its song lyrics.
While there had always been at least a year-long delay between the Swedish and international releases of their previous albums, ‘Silent Shout’ was released everywhere at once. And, for the first time, they took their music on tour. On stage, they wore black pantyhose over their heads daubed with UV paint. For interviews, they used their bird masks and altered their voices any time they were on video. They became famous for not wanting to be famous.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: If Deep Cuts delivered technicolour tropical pop with a naive exuberance, "Silent Shout" was its moody teenage sibling. Dark, shadowy and at times stomping. The opener is a Scando-tech bomb I have never fallen out of love with, lead single "We Share Our Mothers' Health" is a masterpiece in pitch shifted mind melt, and the rest of the tracklist is littered with jams (Marble House, Na Na Na and Like a Pen anyone?)
We Share Our Mothers’ Health
Na Na Na
Like A Pen
From Off To On