Young Knives – 'Sick Octave' album review

The indie oddballs are at their weirdest on their crowd-funded fourth record

0

Comments

Add +

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5


When a previously established band launch a Kickstarter to raise the cash for their next album, it’s hard not to be dubious. It may spring from a rock ’n’ roll DIY spirit, or as a way of bypassing the meddling money men and taking the tunes straight to the punters, but it inevitably smacks of desperation: fading faces trying to keep their career on crowd-funded life support.

However, for noughties post-punk revivalists Young Knives - who raised over 12 grand to record their fourth full-length - it felt like a genuine opportunity for growth rather than a cash-strapped last chance saloon. They promised a ‘completely undiluted Young Knives record’ to their PayPal patrons, and with 'Sick Octave' that’s precisely what they’ve delivered.

Musically, it’s a mind-frying mix of different styles and textures. Opener ‘The Owls of Athens’ launches the record with Kraftwerkian synthesiser stabs and distended trumpets. Meanwhile, ‘All Tied Up’ begins in a cyclone of squalling sounds, before switching into a Battles-esque breakdown of off-beat, plinking riffs. There are quieter moments here too, including a gorgeous, plaintive organ that drives a love song called ‘We Could be Blood’, but moments like this only lull you into a false sense of security. A spasm of garbled electronics or frenetic guitar never seems too far away.

There’s a playful, madcap energy to it all: Young Knives sound like a bunch of scientists going loco in the lab. But while some of their concoctions explode, others merely simmer. ‘Bed Warmer’ and ‘Bella Bella’, are both a chore, dragging out past five minutes as they chuck in everything and the kitchen sink. 'Sick Octave' is obviously the sound of a band enjoying being let off the label leash – but as it wears on you find yourself wishing they had a dutiful suit on hand to reign things in.


Buy this album here

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

Listen to Young Knives on Spotify


Users say

0 comments

Read more music features

Interview: Billy Corgan

As Smashing Pumpkins return with an excellent new album, we ask what’s on Billy’s mind

Manic Street Preachers: then and now

Blackwood’s finest are playing their 1994 album ‘The Holy Bible’ in full. Here’s what’s changed since its release

Interview: Kasabian

After recently including a rude message about Londoners in their stage show, Tom and Serge explain themselves

The best new music of 2014: George The Poet

Young wordsmith George Mpanga joins our rolling guide to the best new acts around

Interview: Mary J Blige

The queen of R&B flew half way around the world to record her new album with London’s brightest young musicians

See all Time Out music features