Follow Us on Twitter

The Young Knives - Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer) EP

The Young Knives - Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer) EP

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

ANOTHER week, another punchy punk-rock band plying their trade. The Young Knives are an Oxford-based trio whose angular riffs and edgy vocal style are as sharp as their name suggests.
But while certainly accomplished, a lot of the tracks on the Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer) EP fail to cut it as impressively as they might.

The title track and lead single is okay enough, thanks to its spiky guitar riffs and chant-along chorus that kicks off with the all-too familiar vignette of “hot summer, what a bummber”. You can virtually imagine sweaty festival-goers jumping up and down and chanting along with it.

The track is actually an ode to that common English pastime of skiving off work and is rife with the Young Knives’ observations on British life (such as “saccharine jollies and other such terrible ways”), before dropping its catchy chorus.

Quirky second track The Worcestershire Madman is probably the strongest offering on the EP, thanks to several pleasant guitar loops and a happy-go lucky swagger that’s perfectly suited to nodding along with. By the time the vocal harmonies combine to play the track out, it’s even adopted some retro sensibilities that wouldn’t be out of place in the ‘60s – it inevitably begs the question, why didn’t they drop this as the main radio single?

But the faster, more off-kilter style of the following two tracks suggest the band is at its happiest when keeping things edgy. Guess The Baby’s Weight is a really jagged offering – both vocally and instrumentally – that’s nowhere near as satisfying.

While Silence Is Golden slow-builds into edginess courtesy of its raw style. The riffs are more stripped back and basic than those on The Worcestershire Madman, while the vocals veer towards the strained (and occasionally torturous). Late on, it really gives way into a guitar frenzy complete with fired up punk vocals.

As an appetiser for the imminent album, Voices Of Animals and Men, Weekends and Bleak Days (Hot Summer) suggests it should be an interesting listen. Whether it will be entirely successful remains to be seen.

Track listing:

  1. Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer)
  2. Worcestershire Madman
  3. Guess The Baby’s Weight
  4. Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer)
  5. Silence Is Golden