❉ The Knives are back, serving up Western Philosophy & sensory overload.
A staple of mid-noughties art rock and indie, where a teenage me was cutting their teeth, consuming as much as I could with a sparse choice of record shops (Rural county in Wales problems) and MTV2, brothers Henry Dartnall and The House of Lords return after a four year hiatus, with Barbarians.
Inspired by the collective shift in political ideologies over the past decade and philosopher John Gray’s Straw Dogs, The album title is a nod to the books central theme, which is of the opinion that humans become no less barbaric through progression as a species. In a nutshell, we are dicks. Henry comments ‘we are obsessed with self and social improvement, but we don’t get any better as human beings,’ – the album explores how we can come to coexist in this truth and whether we can accept it as such.
Kicking off their fifth album with barbed, moody post-punk, Swarm sets the tone of the record perfectly with ‘Freedom with a big F, Freedom with a little left,’- a line that captures the zeitgeist of what has been the perpetual bin fire that is 2020. Society For Cutting Up Men gives a nod to Valerie Solanas with PiL-esque delivery, a poignant industrial hymn.
An album favourite of mine was the first glimpse we got of a Knives comeback, Red Cherries. It’s a perfect slice of Noise Pop designed to play at full volume for those smashing crescendos!
The Title track Barbarians is a snarly, high octane banger with snappy riffs between melodic interims that makes for an excellent title track and the most fun of the record.
Experimental with a phonic build, Sheep Tick is an anthemic, yet apathetic introspection of frustration;
I am lead to rebel I am left unfulfilled, no matter how hard I try, there’s no urgency at all
A perfect analogy for the now.
A great comeback for the sonic duo and musical insight into the current state of affairs. To paraphrase the band themselves, In this music is NOT housed all my disappointment, eh fellas?
❉ Cori Ann Smith is a writer for We Are Cult. A Cardiff-based Literature grad, Horror nerd & eclectic Indie cindy, you’ll mostly find her immersed in a book or in a festival crowd, usually with a beer. Perpetually working on a book of short stories… @coriflowercheez on Twitter.