Recording information: Earstorm Studios, London, UK.
Released a month early thanks to a major online retailer's faux pas, Abandon Ship is the debut album from Knife Party, the EDM project from Pendulum members Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen. Bass-driven monsters like "Resistance" recall Pendulum's wallop but without all the rock and jungle influences, while "EDM Trend Machine" recalls that mothership band's sense of quirky humor as the soulful, funky cut isn't very EDM at all. "Give It Up" shows a Fatboy Slim influence with clipped voices, big beats, and whooping synthesizers all sounding wonderfully cramped as they violently exit the speakers, then the nocturnal wonder called "Red Dawn" beats like Kavinsky with his video game jones on full-force. Pendulum fans should come here because the over-the-top and edgy production will be as familiar as all the slick song structures, but Abandon Ship is ace for anyone who likes their EDM to be both dazzling and diverse. ~ David Jeffries