Three nerds from North West Leicestershire's home town of Baron Zouche who have a certain somewhat unhealthy fascination for tweed, Adam & The Ants and Benny Hill impressions sound like an unlikely trio to be playing post-punk pop with killler hooks. The Mercury nominated threesome, once described rather outrageously as looking like "A bunch of paedo's", have built on the success and acclaim of their previous two studio albums, 'Voices Of Animals And Men' and 'Superabundance', to produce a potent new album that fizzes and sparkles with quality and creativity.
'Ornaments From The Silver Arcade' is set to be the sound track to a sizzling summer. With 5 potential singles delivered within the opening six tracks Young Knives strut their stuff as if giving an exhibition match or master class in well written, sharp, biting pop tunes. (Fear no longer boys, I think all who listen will agree that you are easily 10x better than The Darkness!) The first single 'Love My Name' leads off the effervescent set with rousing guitar breaks and intermittent spacey pea poppers. The only slight weak link in the chain of opening tunes, 'Woman' is up next. Pairing early Foals with that of The The, style and composition is no real failing for the horn accessorised number, it just doesn't quite match the others extremely high standard. 'Everything Falls Into Place' resets the bar. Starting brilliantly with a close approximation to The Falls take on 'Victoria' the almost 'petulant' bass line kicks along before the song breaks into its multiple hook laden verse and chorus. Chased to a climax in the latter 1/3rd by keys and conversation it's what the 3 minute pop tune was meant to be.
New single release 'Human Again' sets the sing-a-long going with its handclaps and harmonies whilst evoking certain fond memories of times when a poppier Julian Cope could be heard troubling the charts. The snappy number is set to be a crowd pleaser with plenty of audience participation.........
"But seeds are for sewing,
and the lights are low enough in here,
and time isn't moving,
so the fast goes fast,
and the slow goes slow.
In the morning you will feel, Human Again."
A fabulously fuzzy dirty dance floor synth begins 'Running From A standing Start' before we are treated to echoes of The Mobiles 'Drowning In Berlin'................."In and out my mind goes"... in the latterly Manics flavoured 'Sister Frideswide'. The unscrupulous adolescent trio clearly know how to craft some very neat, clever, catchy and enjoyable songs, 5 corkers in 6 tracks is Olympic standard stuff and hard to maintain.
The second half of the album may not replicate the immediacy and chart potential of the first but it is no less interesting and still has plenty of deft touches that enliven and enrich the pallet of its production. The Rumba rhythms and angelic harmonies of 'Vision In Rags', the muted Manc of 'Go To Ground', the 80's theatre of 'Silver Tongue', the Josh Wink infused 'Storm Clouds' or confident stirring closer 'Glasshouse' may even eventually prove to be the more enduring tracks. 'Ornaments From The Silver arcade may yet garner more awards or at least nominations and Henry can rest easy that the band have not released a third album "of shit songs like every other band". This is premium quality, proper and precise pop delivered skilfully and refreshingly by a band who have clearly hit their stride. Go buy.