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Ohio Knife: Our Neighborhood

Ohio Knife always gives you more than you expect, yet you still want seconds. If there is a real-life personification of the "this one goes to eleven" mentality, you can find it in this Cincinnati band made up of Scotty Wood [bass], Andrew Higley [keyboards], Joe Suer [drums] and Jason Snell [guitar, vocals].

Everything about Ohio Knife is big, bold, loud and full of serious in-your-face attitude. The same can be said for everything about their latest release Our Neighborhood.

The band recorded this album at Dayton, KY's  The Lodge with a mission to take their larger-than-life attitude from the stage to the studio. But when the recording, mixing and mastering was done, they decided that no typical album release party would suffice. In order to do justice to Our Neighborhood, they had to do it bolder, louder and bigger than ever before.

Few things in the world go better with rock-n-roll than beer, so Ohio Knife joined forces with Gregg Wilson, head brewer at Christian Moerlein Brewing Companyto craft a special, super-hopped beer named -- what else -- Ohio Knife Amber Ale.  

When asked about this part of the project, Snell commented:

The intrinsic connection between beer and music can be seen in any venue across the country. The idea of fusing music, art and beer in a collaborative effort has been in the making for over a decade[...] The discussion of “Rock N’Roll & Beer” came through in a true collaboration - a labor of music, art and beer.

The celebration of Our Neighborhood also coincides with the release of 4 limited-edition, hand-numbered posters printed by four local companies known for their bold sense of design: BLDG, Cryptogram, Powerhouse Factories and a collaboration between Southpaw Prints and Snell's own We Have Become Vikings.

From the high-octane rock of "Low Road" to the bluesy grunge of "I Wish I Knew," Our Neighborhood has the power and presence that has made Ohio Knife one of Cincinnati's premier live performers and earned them a CEA nomination from CityBeat  last year (an award won by Electric Citizen).

In choosing a favorite this week from this 4-song collection, I was truly torn between "Bleed You" and "Hold Your Tongue" - tracks that both contain a lovely hybrid of "God of Thunder" power-pulse and "Outshined" crunchiness. Scotty Wood's bass line on "Hold Your Tongue" goes straight for the gut and rocks your brains out.

However, "Bleed You" won me over because of two key components:  one, there are some exceptionally lovely backing vocals performed by Beth Harris and Maria Seda-Reeder that give this track a richer depth and broader range. And two, there is a shining moment in the song, about 3 minutes in, where Andrew Higley's keys take over. It is a sublime and tasty moment that will simply make your toes curl.

The cherry-on-top of this musical feast is that the band will celebrate the release of Our Neighborhood at the newly-reincarnated and beautifully historic Woodward Theater (1404 Main Street, Cincinnati) on Thanksgiving Eve - Wednesday, November 26.  Joining in the festivities will be Electric Citizen who have been touring all-over and working on their new album for Riding Easy Records.  

Every bar and club in town will be working extra-hard to draw a crowd on this, the 'biggest bar night of the year,' but if you have a passion for great, live local music in a nearly perfect setting, you owe it to yourself to head downtown to The Woodward and give thanks for some super high-energy rock & roll.