EXHUMED: Hot Knives s/t LP

posted Thursday Nov 20th, 2014

Thank god for the Hot Knives, this obscure Bay-Area early 70s pop excavation, courtesy of new label Got Kinda Lost, is a heady blast of hard rockin' folk rock, successfully encompassing all the resin-stained nuances of the era, and cohesively nailing down a fine full-length out of some long lost tracks you need to hear. Formed by brother-sister duo Michael and Debra Houpt, along with ex-Flamin' Groovies heavies Tim Lynch and Danny Mihm in 1972, their combination of an airtight double-lead vocal, along with bona fide SF rock'n roll royalty, was firmly in place from the start. Named after the method of smoking hashish where two knives are heated on the stove, and the smoke is drawn up through a funnel or tube, Hot Knives were known for their stoney backstage cloudbursts, but it only added credence to their hard livin' sound, and successfully never veers near hippie territory.

The songs really deliver the goods, the first two tracks, "Sooner or Later" and "So Fast" are scorchers, and while some wander along a Jefferson Airplane/Moby Grape/Shocking Blue groove one minute, they intersect into a Big Star/Sidewinders/Hackamore Brick-style crusher the next, for a refreshing style that seems to get better with each listen. Other tracks just find a middle ground in that aimless yet endearing post Velvet Underground drift, moving ever so perfectly close to "Sweet Jane," but never quite there, and that's just fine. But the gruffest meat on this slab is worth digging your teeth into, and a lock for anyone with that early 70s pop inflammation, not to mention Flamin' Groovies fanatics who will no doubt rejoice at such a lost piece of their history.

With only two actual singles released during Hot Knives' lifespan, it's a shame they didn't reach a wider audience, but luckily for you it's been saved for the ages here. Stream the first track on the LP "Sooner or Later" right here, and order the LP from Got Kinda Lost right HERE.