THE KNITTS: RETREAT

March 3rd, 2017 | Album reviews

THE KNITTS
Retreat
Knitting Factory

According to the Times, L.A.’s San Fernando Valley has one of the most diverse populations in the entire country. Perhaps that explains the Knitts—a Valley band through and through—and their debut LP, a hard-to-pin down release just as eclectic as the neighborhood they hail from. “She Likes The Idea Of Gold” spins from somber piano to big anthemic chorus to instrumental break to double-time coda, and before you can get your bearings “Hold Steady Pretty Lady” switches things up with a ferocious punk energy. Before the album is over, there’s elements of folk-rock, Brit-pop, math-rock, dance music, and stuff that probably doesn’t even have a name. They’re not following anyone’s rules or being held down by anyone’s expectations—another inherited trait from their Valley home, which presents itself not only in the genre blending, but in their inventive song structures that place instrumental breaks, time changes, and choruses—or no choruses!—wherever the hell they feel like it. It shouldn’t work, but it somehow does. From the power-pop guitar and infectious, spelling bee verses of “Erotic Aquatic,” to the desert-y sidewinder feel of “Simple Folk,” there’s a punk energy and alternative heart that hold the album together, creating a cohesive and individual work that can only fit comfortably under one label: The Knitts.

— Madison Desler