A few months ago, we shared the story of the Pure Noise anniversary tour when the news broke. If you saw the lineup, you already knew the anticipation behind the tour that Counterparts frontman Brendan Murphy referred to as the best on tour currently. Rightfully so, it had all indications of being the tour of the summer, if not the year. Huge acts like Stick To Your Guns, Counterparts, and the legendary Terror took stage across North America this summer on the Pure Noise Tour, commemorating ten years of sustained success in the music industry. It comes as no surprise, however, that acts YEAR OF THE KNIFE and Sanction blew the roof off of the venue within the first hour.
From the title, you’ll know that this article is a live review of YEAR OF THE KNIFE (YOTK) and their opening set for the Pure Noise Tour. The Pure Noise Tour visited Atlanta on August 13 at the renowned Masquerade venue. With just a tiny bit of bias, I was already very intrigued to hear YOTK in person. They are a straight edge band out of Delaware with some lyrical messages that hit home with me. I only scratched the surface of their discography before this live set, just to get a more comprehensive experience of what YOTK has to offer. Let’s jump right in.
YEAR OF THE KNIFE emerged onto the hardcore scene with the following gained from First State Aggression and Ultimate Disease, which so brilliantly came together to form the full length Ultimate Aggression in 2019. Plus, YOTK signed to Pure Noise in 2019, leading to a well-deserved spot on the Pure Noise Tour and the release of their newest song, “Sick Statistic”. YOTK opened their set with “Sick Statistic” in perfect fashion, setting the tone for what fans can expect both now and moving forward. Fan favorites like “Fatal” and “Blue Lies” also set stage for the set following the crushing opening track titled “Y.O.T.K”. Since the day of the show, these tracks have very easily found their way onto my favorite hardcore playlists. Give them a spin once and I can assure you they’ll find their way onto yours.
YEAR OF THE KNIFE is Tyler Mullen (vocals), Madi Watkins (bass), Brandon Watkins (guitar), Aaron Kisielewski (guitar), and Andrew Kisielewski (drums). The live showing was absolutely fantastic and full of energy. This is somewhat always expected of hardcore bands, but it stands true that YOTK brings something special. There is a very unique chemistry between this group that unites them both on and off stage and brings everything full circle when it’s time to perform. Notably, each member is on the verge of being elite in each of their respected roles. It goes without saying, YOTK is another young band that has the future of hardcore/edge in front of them. It’s a humble but confident performance they put on that matches superbly with their lyrical content. The music, in and of itself, is an impressive medium of hardcore’s roots with new generation components such as Mullen’s vocal range and a very cool brand. To sum it up, YOTK is well on its way to breaking barriers in hardcore in the most magnificent way: embracing their own style.
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Author: Clay Drummond