There’s pizza strewn across the table, Tony Hawk Pro Skater paused on the TV and the ever-present hum of the monitor that no one could be arsed to turn off… Or, that’s what you imagine the recording process of ‘Stitches’ to be like, at least. This EP from Cambridge lo-fi punk quartet, Bloody Knees, is, bar the behind-the-scenes trip, pretty much everything you would expect. It’s noisy, brimming with pop-punk sentiments and packs enough of a punch to keep you on your toes with each and every listen. If you like being covered in blood, skating until your legs break or you’re prone to thinking too much and worrying about ‘stuff,’ it’s time to listen up.
‘Stitches’ is the sort of record that makes you feel as though you’ve had it lying at the back of your collection for the last few years but never managed to give it the time of day and eventually, the dust began to gather. Then, one rainy afternoon when the house was completely empty save you and your cat, you gave it a spin. Before you knew it you were thrashing around your bedroom, speakers at full volume, wondering just where Bloody Knees had been your whole life. ‘Stitches’ feels homely, the kind of homely that you get from a cup of tea in someone else’s house or from taking your own pillow on holiday. From opener ‘Bury Me’ to the final hurrah ‘Garbage Brain,’ it successfully achieves the kind of nostalgia that many bands struggle to achieve with even their most senior of albums.
In one word, ‘Stitches’ is gritty. However, Bloody Knees have achieved such a perfect balance of feedback and pretty little riffs that they deserve a whole lot more than an adjective that lends itself better to the resurfacing of roads than music. It’s got choruses that reverberate around your head with more persistence than a toddler at Christmas, and lyrics that anyone who went through ‘that stage’ as a teenager will appreciate with every fibre of their being. ‘Stitches’ might not be for everyone, but it’s doing a bloody good job at trying.