Plainly stated, 31Knots hasn’t moved in a new direction with Worried Well so much as they’ve ripened to full maturity and evolved into the creature they're meant to be.
Previous albums and EPs are just as tightly wrapped, just as fierce and incendiary, but something is different. Something here is new.
Worried Well deserves to be called out as thought provoking and well-written in a time when substance is quickly giving way to music of commerce and palatability.
There is no band like 31Knots and Worried Well finds them at the full height of its powers.
The whole album is woven together via a series of samples that shape the album into a complete form of art rather than a mass of songs.
Beyond Race Magazine
This disc is yet another step in the Portland band's trek away from definable sounds and into a truly unique musical space.
Worried Well finds the group utilizing its prismatic musical resources to astonishingly varied effect. "Compass Commands" falls somewhere between Gilbert & Sullivan and "Hey Ya," while "Upping the Mandate" glides on a carriage of hand claps and Dr. Dre-worthy synth lines. When all of these elements reach true confluence, as on the spidery, arpeggio-driven "Strange Kicks" and the lovely, elegiac "Opaque/All White," 31Knots prove themselves one of the most dramatically adept power trios going.
31Knots crafts challenging rock music in the grand tradition of iconoclasts like Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa.
Worried Well manages to find the perfect balance between the intricate instrumentation and swaggering theatricality that have come to define their tenure as a band. The record is constantly turning, rising and falling, starting and stopping, each song unique from its counterparts.
Haege's chaotic guitar work is always melodic even as it skirts the boundaries of dissonance, while Pellicci's drumming and Winebrenner's basslines hold Haege's forays in check and add a rhythmic drive that keeps everything moving forward.
1Baby of Riots (0:43)
3The Breaks (3:32)
4Something Up There This Way Comes (4:58)
5Take Away The Landscape (2:45)
6Strange Kicks (3:58)
8Worried But Not Well (4:33)
9Compass Commands (3:28)
10Statistics and the Heart of Man (4:20)
11Upping the Mandate (5:15)
12Between 1 & 2 (3:11)