"Supergroup" gets tossed around so much in these days of ever-shifting lineups and allegiances (The Dead Weather, Them Crooked Vultures), that word might as well mean the same thing as "side project." But the Knitters actually deserve such a lofty designation. Not only is the lineup pretty super to begin with — three-quarters of L.A. punk legends X in John Doe, Exene Cervenka and drummer D.J. Bonebrake, fortified by roots-rock savant Dave Alvin and doghouse bassist Jonny Ray Bartel — their pedigree stretches back to 1985 LP Poor Little Critter on the Road. True, the Knitters have only released one album since then, 2005's The Modern Sounds of the Knitters, but it's a doozy too, whether playing to the group's rocket-powered rockabilly strengths on re-strung versions of X's "Burning House of Love" and "In This House That I Call Home" or walking down some spooky Americana back roads on traditional numbers "Give Me Flowers While I'm Living" and "Rank Stranger." And live, to say the Knitters heed "The New Call of the Wrecking Ball" would be about as much of an understatement as, well, calling this band of 180-proof American music aces a "supergroup."
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