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The Knells biography
The brainchild of guitarist Andrew McKenna LEE, Brooklyn, NY based band THE KNELLS are a band that belong to a genre inhabited perhaps by themselves alone. LEE created THE KNELLS as an outlet for all of his creative passions - he had performed with the likes of Billy IDOL, SEX PISOLS' guitarist JONES, and others in the rock sphere, a singer/songwriter in Brooklyn clubs, but also as a solo artist and composer in the classical sphere, and he needed a way for his voice to be heard. The band is self-proclaimed as a post-rock neo-psychedelia act, but the musical collective is so much more than that. And indeed the band is a collective more than just a band, as LEE utilizes a trio of vocalists, Nina BERMAN, Amanda GREGORY, and Katya POWDER, two guitarists, LEE and Paul ORBELL, drummer Michael MCCURDY, mallet percussionist Jude TRAXLER, electric bassist Joseph HIGGINS, and the critically lauded Mivos String Quartet. The twelve-piece band weaves a sonic blanket that ranges from choral chamber rock to avant post-psych to melancholic psych-blues.

THE KNELLS released their debut self-titled album in 2013 on New Amsterdam Recordings. The album is an enveloping one hour song cycle that follows the concept of the meaning of life, the meaning of time, the beauty and violent tendencies of nature, and the questions that plague humanity's existence. A dense theme for a dense album - and the band pulls it off.

While the uniqueness of this band makes it difficult to relate artists to them, fans of impossible creative avant-garde rock will likely enjoy this band. The band fuses elements of chamber rock, choral music, psychedelic and post rock, and the raw power of classical composition. The band proves to be a real treat for fans of melodic avant-prog and RIO.

::::Andy Webb::::

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THE KNELLS discography

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THE KNELLS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 6 ratings
The Knells
3.96 | 5 ratings
Knells II

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Knells II by KNELLS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.96 | 5 ratings

Knells II
The Knells RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US project THE KNELLS is the brainchild of composer and instrumentalist Andrew McKenna Lee, an artist with quite an eclectic career and skill set, from what I can recall from the marketing information submitted with the first CD by The Knells a few years back. "Knells II" is the band's second album, and was released through McKenna Lee's own label Still Sound Records in 2017.

Just where to place this album in terms of style is a challenge. Eclectic for sure, with it's blend of elements from jazz, blues, psychedelic rock and classical music, and arguably from progressive electronic music as well. All explored inside a progressive rock context. The amazing thing is that the material isn't all that demanding to listen to either. The vocals obviously has a lot to say there, but this is in fact an album I'd describe as sophisticated yet also with a rather broad appeal. And obviously a production to seek out if you tend to enjoy material that resides within the more eclectic parts of the progressive rock universe.

 The Knells by KNELLS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.12 | 6 ratings

The Knells
The Knells RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US project THE KNELLS is the brainchild of composer and instrumentalist Andrew McKenna Lee, described as "a rock guitarist who has performed alongside legends Billy Idol and former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, a singer/songwriter, a serious concert music composer and... a classical guitar virtuoso" by the label New Amderdam Records which released The Knells' self-titled album in November 2013.

The Knells debut album comes across as a solid excursion into a corner of the progressive rock universe where few others have travelled. Musically related to both psychedelic progressive rock and chamber rock, with a liberal amount of details with an origin in classical music and a few that may have an origin in jazz as well, combined with textured instrumental details of the kind fans of post rock will recognize and occasional segments closer to ambient music in overall feel. These elements and a few more then combine into a smooth, dreamladen and elegant whole, yet with an undefinable unnerving feeling to them. A production well worth investigating if you enjoy adventurous music, and in particular if you have a soft spot for high quality, classically trained female lead vocalists and vocal harmonies.

Thanks to andy webb for the artist addition.

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