The Young Knives: Are Dead

Oxford yelpers' debut album rereleased

The Young Knives didn�t just walk out of a branch of Barbour & Sons and into our lives in 2005. By then they�d already spent several years honing their craft, recording this mini-album for Oxford label Shifty Disco in 2002. All the quirks we have come to love from the tweed-clad trio are in evidence here: tetchy rhythms, yelped harmonies, false endings and bristling basslines that drill their way into your cortex. The influence of US art-rock bands Pere Ubu and Sonic Youth is more pronounced than on the Mercury-nominated �Voices Of Animals And Men�, culminating in the magnificently brooding Pavement-esque epic �Diamonds In The West�. The lack of an ear-spearing epiphany in the vein of �The Decision� is tempered here by the bonus inclusion of 2003 single �Rollerskater�, an unexpectedly frothy electro-pop diversion.

Sam Richards