Nearly a year after their Rage Valley EP, Australia's Knife Party has delivered their third release, Haunted House. The four track romp includes three previously unreleased original cuts and one oft-heard though yet-released VIP to their signature "Internet Friends." On their previous EPs, Knife Party experimented with a variety of styles ranging touching on dubstep ("Centipede," "Fire Hive"), drumstep ("Bonfire"), 110/moombahcore ("Sleaze") and of course their own brand of electro house madness ("Destroy Them With Lasers," "Tourniquet," and "Rage Valley"). With Haunted House, the duo sticks with house music but does so in a fashion that really screams personality. If this EP were a person, it'd be that crazy ex you just can't get enough of.
The EP is essentially hardcore music morphed into house. There are few soaring melodies, limited feel-good chord progressions, and there are certainly no white-bred vocalists crooning a three word catch-phrase over the top. Enough melody to keep Knife Party on the mainstage, Haunted House is a full-on romp. Listening to this EP passively is just not possible. You can't listen to Haunted House and expect to get some good thinking done, but get some good aggression out? Damn straight. "Power Glove" essentially picks up where "Rage Valley" and "Internet Friends" left off with tightly wound melodies, winding leads, and stomping bass. "LRAD" essentially re-hashes old ideas ("Epic," "Atom," "Incredible"), but does so in a fashion that just feels fresh and an absolutely pulverizing and crushing second drop seals it. "EDM Death Machine" starts of with the almost cute voiceover ("In the future, there will be no harlem shakes") before escalating into a modern big room acid track. The track seems to ride the current acid trend making it's way back into EDM, following in the likes of Dog Blood and Oliver, and we're not mad at it at all. Finishing the EP with the previously unreleased "Internet Friends VIP" is a bit disappointing, if only because it's nothing new at all. The VIP has been rinsed in Knife Party sets for a year, and while it's a great edit, it's still largely just an edit with a dubstep drop. A great release, but not exactly the way we wanted Haunted House to end.
"Internet Friends" disappointment a side, in the countless times I've listened to the EP, I couldn't help but headbang, each time overcome with the unrelenting feeling that I just wanted to break something. It's an energy reminiscent of listening/headbanging to Limp Bizkit's "Nookie" back in the MTV heyday. The EP is sure to be a favorite for many and it does provide a number of new tracks we're expecting to hear all summer long.