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The Young Knives Voices Of Animals & Men Review

Album. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

Mercury-nominated odballs. More in love with tweed than leather!

Helen Groom 2007

Defiantly geeky, wonderfully weird and witty, there is a huge amount to love on this debut album. Brilliantly combining lyrics about the mundane, and a love of tweedy attire, with quirky, enchanting music, The Young Knives feel like a breath of fresh air after the rash of achingly-cool indie bands who have been shoved in your face in recent months.

Described as a post-punk indie, The Young Knives are also defiantly pop, jamming odd-ball verses and disturbingly catchy choruses into virtually every song. Sounds like an aural nightmare, yet somehow it works brilliantly. Don’t let the NHS specs and corduroy trick you into thinking these boys aren’t making songs that will etch themselves indelibly on your brain. Navel-gazing, pan pipe classics this is not.

“The Decision”, for the lyrics ‘the horses in the new forest/ are running in their Sunday best/and though you can’t believe your ears/they say the words you long to hear’, if nothing else, deserves to find a place in your record collection. And if you can stop yourself chanting ‘I’m the Prince Of Wales’ along with singer Henry Dartnall, you’ve got more will power than most. It is the kind of song that will make you dance in a deliberately ridiculous manner.

“Weekends & Bleak Days (Hot Summer)” has the most insistent guitar rift heard in recent years, while “She’s Attracted To” not only sounds brilliant, but has beautifully amusing lyrics about having a scrap with your girlfriend’s parents.

Naturally there are some weak points amongst the quirky gems. “Tailors” simply doesn’t engage you the way other tracks here do, which is unfortunate as it is the longest one on the album. Likewise “Coastguard” lacks the charm of the rest of the album.

What sets this album apart is the fact that all the songs are clever. They are more than simply a catchy riff and a good sounding chorus – the lyrics are intelligent, funny and engaging.

From the quality and sheer fun of this debut, bring on the ‘difficult’ second album – these boys will walk it.

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