Review of Violence & Birdsong Album by Union Of Knives

Union Of Knives
Violence & Birdsong
Album Review

Union Of Knives Violence & Birdsong Album

Glasgow based three-piece Union Of Knives describe themselves as having "the sound and the attitude incarnate".

Whilst the latter cannot be brought into question – at least by hearing this record without actually meeting or knowing anything about the personalities behind the music, one has to take a firm, hard gaze in the internal rear view mirror before even considering agreement with their profound statement of intent.

Union Of Knives, y'see, are three soundmen-cum-producers/mixers who've decided to embark upon a path of making music for themselves, and while their pedigree cannot be doubted, the end result is sadly akin to listening to the final strokes of a painter and decorator's renovation job of one's bathroom. In other words, decidedly dull.

Which is a shame because they've listed the right influences – Radiohead, Massive Attack and The Beta Band to name but three – and they're obviously dab hands at mastering the ins and outs of a recording studio, but even the most diligent of dinner party guests would have trouble staying awake to this soundtrack of layered keyboards, samples and over bloated vocals that make it sound like Kosheen on a bad day. And you didn't even know they had good ones.

On the positive side, opener 'Opposite Direction' is slightly reminiscent of Curve when electro-efficiency was slightly original and intense, while the instrumental interlude of 'Even Machines' could easily have been elongated into a filmic dimension of sound that possibly bints at where their future may lie. On the whole though, and with the majority of tracks clocking in at well over five minutes, 'Violence & Birdsong' isn't quite what the doctor ordered, unless that was a double helping of tranquilisers of course.

Dom Gourlay

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