it was high time to hit the road
(54' 40' or Fight!)

There was a time when 31 Knots was a math-rock band. The Portland group's latest, it was high time to hit the road, isn't math; it's straight-up quantum physics. With comparisons ranging from the Minutemen to Modest Mouse, 31 Knots have been hard to figure out: They tried like hell but never quite managed to refine their sound into something entirely their own. They got the kinks worked out on this latest effort, though, and have built and orchestrated a damn fine album. What was theory has become proof; what was good has become great. Joe Haege's vocals are mellifluous without being fruity, and the lyrics are solid warrior-poet grace. Jay Winebrenner's bass playing is so stinkin' tight that Mike Watt should be taking notes. New drummer Jay Pellicci walked right into the Knot pocket with zeal and has become an elegant, indispensable part of a totally refined sound. Few bands are this complex musically; even fewer can take on this much without overkilling their songs. It was high time... will take a little getting used to, for sure, but once you get up to their speed, you'll feel their need.

31 Knots and The Planet The play a double CD release show with Heavenly States Friday, Oct. 17. Berbati's Pan, 231 SW Ankeny St., 248-4579. 9 pm. $8. 21+.