When I first heard “Knives” I thought “YES!” and figured I had just found a new favourite band. But that track turns out to be the album’s most immediate track – it’s a smart thing to lead off with in some respects but a bad idea in others.
Because I guess I was expecting more of the same, or similar tracks. And though there are some other songs that are decent, there’s nothing else quite like “Knives.” Like many bands of its ilk, I find that I generally enjoy the aesthetic but there’s not enough songwriting here for me. It’s possible that, with time, I might enjoy this more, but I’m not sure, as there are hooks here to an extent that is greater than a lot of early alternative metal, I’m just not sure I think they’re good enough. I think what I’m actually saying is I wish the songs were better OR it was more “metal.”
Like so much alternative rock, the lyrics haven’t dated super well. But we don’t normally listen to music like this for the quality of the lyrics. (At least I don’t.)
I really do enjoy the aesthetic – more aggression and volume than most alternative rock, with enough of an edge and an embrace of a punk ethos that it’s not metal. And they’re competent musicians.
And it sounds good – it’s well recorded.
I just think I don’t like them as songwriters. And I wish I did, because I like the aesthetic and I love first track.
PS: The Joy Division cover sounds too much like Joy Division but so does one of their other songs.
- “Knives” (Cairns) 1:55
- “Screamager” (Cairns, McKeegan, Ewing) 2:36
- “Hellbelly” (Cairns) 3:21
- “Stop It You’re Killing Me” (Cairns) 3:50
- “Nowhere” (Cairns) 2:26
- “Die Laughing” (Cairns, McKeegan, Ewing) 2:48
- “Unbeliever” (Cairns) 3:28
- “Trigger Inside” (Cairns) 3:56
- “Lunacy Booth” (Cairns) 3:55
- “Isolation” (Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris) 3:10
- “Turn” (Cairns, McKeegan, Ewing) 3:50
- “Femtex” (Cairns) 3:14
- “Unrequited” (Cairns) 3:03
- “Brainsaw” (Cairns)
- Andy Cairns – vocals/guitar
- Fyfe Ewing – drums/backing vocals
- Michael McKeegan – bass/backing vocals
- Page Hamilton – lead guitar on “Unbeliever”
- Lesley Rankine – additional vocals on “Lunacy Booth”
- Martin McCarrick – cello on “Unrequited”
- Eileen Rose – additional vocals on “Femtex”