The Young Knives – Voices Of Animals And Men (2006): Review


Produced by Andy Gill
Label – Transgressive

There’s something essentially English about The Young Knives, the eccentric lines, the self effacing humour, the tweed suits, and the bass player calls himself The House Of Lords. Their sound is familiar too, spiky Art Rock/Pop, often filled with dance rhythms drawing similarities with The Futureheads, Maximo Park and Franz Ferdinand amongst others. The Ashby De La Zouch three piece have studied their muse well and hit all the right buttons to become popular with the student audience, but the songs are well written and melodic which pushes them into the mainstream target area and three singles have reached the top 40 UK chart. Excellent, when one considers that they’re not fashionably attired and are far from pin-up material, but then it shows just how important the power of a decent song is, and hopefully always will be. The band even boast of their anonymity and un-coolness on the excellent debut single “The Decision” as vocalist Henry Dartnall unashamedly announces “I wore the blue and the green, it’s not the way to be seen, that decision was mine”. All the geeks have the affirmation that it’s OK to have bad dress sense in The Young Knives World.

young knives

Kicking of with the frantic punky “Part Timer”, Dartnall professes his difficulty in full time song writing as he shouts over tight crashing guitars “Part time forever, under the weather”. They cleverly stop mid song to chat about the arrangement, which heightens the sense of fun and brings the listener to realize that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously. This sets the tone for the remainder of the album, and although there are one or two “clever/clever” misfires where eccentricity pushes past the boundary of enjoyable listening (“Tailors”, “Half Timer”), many of the songs, particularly the singles (“Here Comes The Rumour Mill”, “She’s Attracted To”, “Weekends And Bleak Days”, and “The Decision”) are top slices of fun indie pop and have an originality that breaks their work away from the mundane. Although they’re not likely to be this years’ biggest band, there’s an obvious individuality that makes them totally endearing.

“Voices Of Animals And Men” contains enough richly textured tunes to keep mad dogs and Englishmen satisfied with its eccentricity, and longing for the next helping. For everyone else, it’s hardly album of the year but it’s damn good fun.


Track Listing
1.”Part Timer” – 2:54
2.”The Decision” – 3:23
3.”Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer)” – 2:47
4.”In the Pink” – 3:16
5.”Mystic Energy” – 2:52
6.”Here Comes the Rumour Mill” – 3:34
7.”Tailors” – 4:11
8.”Half Timer” – 1:39
9.”She’s Attracted To” – 3:06
10.”Dialing Darling” – 2:59
11.”Another Hollow Line” – 3:42
12.”Coastguard” – 3:01
13.”Loughborough Suicide” – 3:56
14.”Tremblings of Trails” – 3:21

The Decision

Here Comes The Rumour Mill

She’s Attracted To

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