Review ·

Let's say there's something drastically wrong with you and you're staunchly opposed to the idea that there should be more stupid anonymous dance songs in the world. Clearly, you are too far gone and need professional help -- but what if I said there should be more stupid anonymous dance-punk songs in the world; do you think you can get on board with that? Songs with big drums and spangle-y new-wave hooks and Wire-y vocals and occasionally some screaming, too (some, but not a lot)? How does that grab you?

 

The four utterly linear, super-catchy tracks on this EP are the best S.A.D.P. songs I've heard in ages and ages. That's a phrase, by the way -- "in ages and ages" -- that British people use all the goddamn time, just like the way they say "loads" when they really mean "lots" ("You've got loads of vomit on your shirt there, mate!"). The reason I bring up our neighbors from across the pond is because the members of the Young Knives are British themselves ... so freakin' British. And that's probably the best (read: easiest) way I can describe their sound. "Hey, what do the Young Knives sound like?" Like every British punk band ever.

 

Especially the afore-referenced Wire, and it's not just Henry Dartnall's vocal similarities to Colin Newman that's making me say that. Both bands hew to the standard drums, bass, vocals and just-one guitar formula, although the Knives, clever lads they are, actually combine the Guitar Guy and the Vocal Guy into the Same Guy cheeky. Like Wire (and when I say Wire I'm talking about Pink Flag, basically) the Knives work quickly, have their energetic dance-punk say, and file out. The Knives are less chaotic and musically unpredictable than their punk-god godfathers -- but maybe, just maybe, they're more fun. They've got this one lyric, for instance, about a "Puerto Rican Joanie and Chachi" -- tell me that's not fun, I dare you.

 

Wait, aren't you the guy who thinks the world doesn't need more stupid anonymous dance-punk songs? Well, there goes your credibility. Me, I like this EP. It's got big drums and you can dance to it. There's some screaming. I like it.

 

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Young Knives Web site

Streaming audio

"Weekends and Bleak Days" video


Trasgressive Records Web site

Ambulance Ltd. - New English EP Califone Roomsound [Enhanced]

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