31 Knots Worried Well

31 Knots Worried Well
It’s obvious 31 Knots like a little art mixed with their rock. More and more, the Portland trio have injected their quirky prog punk with everything from classically-leaning piano to stop-start math riffs to ProTools-treated samples to whatever the hell they can think of. It’s the kind of forward thinking, everything goes approach that over the years has garnered them quite the reputation for being unconventional, and one they fully live up to on their latest, Worried Well. Grounded by Joe Haege’s drama-charged storytelling and left-of-centre riffs, the album’s highbrow antics put punked-up aggression right alongside open-ended experimentation, bringing to mind Dischord’s finest, as well as more art-damaged peers such as Joan of Arc and the Ex. And for the most part, the juxtaposition works, with the band sounding entirely comfortable in being tense and laidback all at once. More importantly, it also makes Worried Well a record that rarely offers a dull moment. (Polyvinyl)