Young Knives - Voices of Animals and Men

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Three young men who dress like old men who hail from the decidedly un-rock'n'roll environs of Ashby-de-la-Zouche, The Young Knives may not immediately resemble a band bound for the big time. Their Voices Of Animals And Men, however – the follow-up to 2002 mini-album Young Knives Are Dead – demonstrates the sort of furious ambition and unfettered eccentricity that has catapulted bands like Queen, Sparks and – oh yes – The Darkness into the British musical consciousness. Musically, we’re talking lean, 70s-tinged art-rock a la Gang Of Four or many of their myriad modern copyists. It's the vocal interplay of Henry Dartnall and his brother 'The House Of Lords' (so nicknamed because he vetoes the band's best ideas) that's truly their calling card, amusing narratives like "Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer)" and the immortal meet-the-parents tale "She's Attracted To" delivered in shrill, priggish Middle English accents. Rollicking good fun, but a whole album of it could get obnoxious, so thank goodness for the likes of "Tailors", a mid-album interlude of chattering sewing machine and gentle, Syd Barrett-style vocal whimsy. –-Louis Pattison

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