To some extent Book of Knots is a supergroup featuring Carla Kihlstadt of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (and more), Mike Patton (every album released in the last five years) and a whole load of other people. This may fill some with trepidation as it did me, but the album is enormously satisfying. The latest installment in a trilogy of concept albums, I would not be able to tell you what the concept behind this album is. Space ? Apocalypse ? Space apocalypse ? Don’t know but it’s on of my albums of the year to date. Featuring disjointed messages from fictional dj’s, paean to space chimps and weird pseudo-Serge Gainsbourg contributions with one of the best (and most unlikely) choruses ever, it’s a pretty weird affair. But this is Ipecac, so it was bound to be, and in comparison to a lot of the stuff on the labels books it is pretty normal sounding.
Musically there are lots of Sleepytime-esque touches (home made instruments and Carla Kihlstadt’s unique vocals) but it’s a much more cheerful album than the last S.G.M release, which although quite brilliant was pretty harrowing and hard work. The star of the show is not even Mike Patton (bear with me) although his contribution is naturally quite super. Instead it belongs to one Tony Maimone of …..err….. They Might Be Giants. Trust me it’s a brilliant thing even if you have never had a particularly high opinion of They Might Be Giants. That said, there are no disappointments on this album and it is with a slight grimace I add it to my list of albums to buy. It’s a long list.