Man in Decline Records' Dominic Federico on Knesset, D. Russ, and A Cloud Forest

Categories: Sound Off

Clockwise: D. Russ, Knesset, Dominic Federico of Man in Decline Records, A Cloud Forest
Welcome to the latest installment of our recurring feature, Sound Off, in which Jason P. Woodbury is joined by a different guest to listen to and discuss three tracks from local Phoenix artists. If you would like your songs to be considered for future Sound Off columns, please email

Dominic Federico owns Man in Decline Records (and we've reviewed Seas Will Rise and Federico's band Come On Die Young in previous Sound Off columns), and has done time as a promoter, music journalist, and active member of the Salt Lake City hardcore scene before moving to Phoenix to pursue a PhD in Counseling Psychology.

We discussed indie rock from Knesset, hip-hop from D. Russ, and atmospheric black metal from A Cloud Forest.

Knesset is an indie-rock band from Phoenix. The band is signed to & Records in Japan, where they are label mates with Her Space Holiday, Lymbyc System, David Bazan, and dozens of other awesome, notable bands. Check out their Tumblr for more info.

Dominic Federico : Very polished. I like the shoegaze and the pop elements. It sounds like it has some '90s influence to me, which I'm a big fan of.

Up on the Sun: Any specific bands it reminds you of?

You know, I thinking about that, and I wasn't able to really nail any. Some of the reference points I tried to tie it to don't really fit.

I heard some shoegazey elements, like Ride, with a big pop element but still out there. It's pop but atmospheric and driving.

It's a darker sound, too. I want to say it has some goth elements, but I don't think it fits that definition. But I was thinking, "Does it sound like Slowdive?" It doesn't really fit. I think Ride is a good comparison.

And that's just kind of. That's a good thing, but you say about a band, "It's kind of like this," but it doesn't fit exactly. I think a band would want that.

Reference versus derivative. Good musicianship, obviously very good live. I could see Jimmy Eat World taking them out...and that's a big endorsement from me.

You mentioned that the potentially faux-British accent might be a little bit of a deal-breaker?


I get that. I'm guilty of loving bands that do that, but it can be a little weird.

You never know, it might be a Brit. I've got this friend who plays in the band Suedehead in California, and he's a legit Brit. They sound like Elvis Costello, and he's from England. But I think it happens all the time, people think he's putting it on [laughs].

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