Husband and Knife An End

KC Spidle plays unplugged music but there’s a rock’n’roller in him waiting to get out. Many of the songs on An End, his second album under pseudonym Husband & Knife, are built on bluesy guitar hooks, not chords. The sleazy riff on "Rushin” would be at home on a Led Zeppelin record were it not played on an acoustic. "Drug Poet,” with its palm-muted guitar line and slurred spoken-word vocals, feels positively debauched. Despite this rock’n’roll edge, not one drum sound can be heard on An End, which Spidle recorded on a laptop during a spell of unemployment. It’s his aggressive guitar playing that makes the record a different proposition than those from many solo singer-songwriters. Sure, Spidle’s songs share concerns, such as alcoholism and joblessness, with his contemporaries yet on up-tempo highlights such as "The Sea” and "Headless Army,” he proves that self-analytical songwriters don’t always make self-indulgent records. (Divorce)