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Are Dead and Some

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Album Review

Capitalizing on the release of the Young Knives' debut album Voices of Animals and Men, this compilation by the neo-post-punk trio's former label gathers up the seven-track The Young Knives Are Dead EP from 2002 with three songs from the follow-up "Rollerskate" single. Five years can be a lifetime in pop music terms, but the slow-building new wave revival has remained ticking along in the interim, and so these ten songs don't sound hopelessly dated now. Indeed, if anything, this is a more brash and spunky take on Hot Hot Heat-style dance rock than the comparatively low-key full-length manages. Guitarist Henry Dartnall and his bassist brother the House of Lords (one of the most imaginatively daft stage names since the punk era) favor rougher vocals on tunes like the punky rave-up "John," and drummer Oliver Askew kicks up a fair approximation of the stilted, dub-influenced post-punk dance sound on the more tightly wound Gang of Four-wannabe tunes such as "The Night of the Trees" and "So Sue Me." Now, as then, the two best songs are the singles, the gloriously herky-jerky "Walking on the Autobahn" and the far more melodic, easygoing follow-up "Rollerskate." But there's a rough-edged charm to everything here, and those who came on board later with the major-label debut Decisions will be pleased to have the Young Knives' earlier work without having to pay collector's shop prices for it.


Formed: Oxford, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Hailing from Oxford, England, post-punk revivalists the Young Knives feature Henry Dartnall (vocals/guitar), Oliver Askew (drums), and Thomas Dartnall (bass) (aka House of Lords). The three initially started out playing Ned's Atomic Dustbin songs while living in their hometown of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, but a move to Oxford in 2002 gave the Young Knives their big break. An appearance at the Truck Festival led to the band issuing The Young Knives...Are Dead mini-album for Shifty Disco in...
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