Friday, October 8, 2010

Knox Overstreet "Demo" cd-r (self released/2003)

Sadly, this is a demo that most people even on Long Island never heard. And to take it a step further I would also have to say that most people whom attended Long Island shows weren't very familiar with Knox Overstreet which is absolutely criminal. Knox Overstreet were one of those bands that wrote great songs, were great dudes but never gave a fuck about belonging to a scene, adhering to trends, playing "cool" shows or whatever nonsense young bands tend to get wrapped up in. This quartet concerned themselves with only one thing and that was writing top notch songs.

My first exposure to Knox Overstreet was seeing them at a show at the Rock Lobster with (if my memory serves me correct) On the Might of Princes, Intransit, The Cotton Weary and Joshua. Immediately the first thing that struck me about them was how loud yet insanely toe tapping melodic they were. Also right off the bat their drummer, Mike Post, was an absolute thrill to watch as he had a contagious energy about him that seemed to rub off on the rest of the band. He had a stage presence and charisma that is usually reserved for front men. Sonically, they reminded me a lot of Garden Variety. At first glance the Garden Variety influence early on was pretty obvious from the melodic clang of the guitars and the vocals of Mike Catanese certainly reminded me Anthony Roman but when you shed away the layers it was obvious that there were a lot more pop sensibilities if you will at work. Over time I got to know the band pretty well and booked them at various shows over the years. Heck, I even had their track "Take the Ticket" be the lead off track on a cd compilation I did called The Hope Machine. Knox Overstreet and my band played together a bunch when we first started playing and it was really amazing seeing how they progressed from that first show I saw at the Rock Lobster.

From 2000 until the cease of the publication I wrote for Under the Volcano and a part of what I tried to accomplish there was write about DIY bands from all over the world that I was being exposed to via my label trading with other labels but a part of that for me was to also review releases from local bands. And as a result one night at a show at Saints & Sinners (which I do believe ended up being band's last show), drummer Mike Post handed me a copy of the latest Knox Overstreet demo to consider reviewing. Like I had to consider... I was blown away as the band on this 4 song demo grew in leaps and bounds from their earliest incarnation. That aforementioned Garden Variety element was only faintly there, now I was hearing elements of Superchunk, Big Star and The Replacements to create a very smart,  hook laden brand of indie rock. It was so good that I was appalled to see that the demo was #1 in an edition of only 30! And that was the kind of band that Knox Overstreet was-one that never realized how good they were. Or even took themselves too seriously. Or heck even had a thought to share their music with anyone outside of their circle of friends. For better or worse as an outside looking in very few bands operated the way Knox Overstreet did. I have done everything in my power over the years to share with people the great music of this band that in my mind was sorely under appreciated.

Knox Overstreet did have decent amount of recorded material all of which I shall post here over the course of time. For those interested here is a run down of their discography (as far as I know of):

-"demo" (not sure if this was officially released. i just have a burned cd-r w/ 3 tracks)
-"Take the Ticket" on The Hope Machine cd comp (Rok Lok Records)
-"I Shot the Clerk" on It Certainly Was a Grand Piano cd comp (Abominable Records)
-"Coming Around/Jammer Failed" 7 inch (Abominable Records)
-split 7 inch w/ Radio Raheem (Pony Collision Records)
-"demo (2003)" cd-r (self released)

Knox Overstreet "demo (2003)" track listing
1. Out of the Van
2. Shake That Tree
3. Fast Women
4. Not At All

Download Here


  1. Mike, maybe it's because I don't think you were ever really into the Afghan Whigs, but Knox always had a strong Afghan Whigs element to their sound, in my opinion. All the other influences are spot on, but I found it weird that you didn't mention them at all...I also found it weird that I didn't know about this blog until two minutes ago. So, I guess we should thank Owen for that. Keep up the good work!

  2. Me not an Afghan Whigs fan??? Are you kidding??? You wouldn't believe it if I told you that I am wearing my Afghan Whigs "Honky's Ladder" t-shirt right now would you??? Well I am!! Times like these I wish I had a phone with a camera. But yeah man I absolutely love Afghan Whigs, and Twilight Singers as well- though I could do without the first TS album...Next to Sebadoh's "Bakesale", Afghan Whigs "Gentlemen" was my favorite album in high school. and it still is in my top 5 albums of all time. No joke. But yeah, now that you say it I can totally see a Afghan Whigs quality to Knox's sound, more like the older stuff like "Up In It" or "Congregation".

  3. Wow, I can't believe I never pegged you for a Whigs fan!!! I mean, how long have we known each other?? I stand corrected. Ha ha. Well, I still love your enthusiasm and passion for this stuff. Thanks again.