Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen spent nearly a decade in Australian drum 'n' bass group Pendulum before branching out (Pendulum still exists, at least as a DJ collective) to become Knife Party
. The London-based duo has Frankensteined together an unholy mess of a style—a massive pileup of practically everything that's hot in EDM right now, apparently assembled to appeal to as many people as possible who are already primed to like bombastic dance music. And all those genres aren't playing nice together: on this year's Rage Valley
EP (Warner Music UK/Big Beat) treble-spiked synth jabs sideswipe chugging moombahton riddims, high-pitched eight-bit melodies overwhelm minimalist percussion, and dubstep bass drops pulverize everything in their path. Sometimes the discordant racket coalesces into a recognizable shape, delivering brief moments of thrilling, pulsing melody—and those moments actually seem to sound scary on purpose, as opposed to sounding scary because they're unrelenting and incoherent. Either way, Knife Party was a good choice to headline something called the Haunted House Tour. —Leor Galil Tommy Trash, Kill the Noise, Baauer, and Zanelowe open.