Album Review: Knife Club – We Are Knife Club

  • Adam Pytro posted
  • Reviews

Knife Club

We Are Knife Club - TNSRecords

After a masterclass in marketing – all hidden identities and hashtags – Knife Club appeases the tease, and drops their debut album this week. Formed around “getting shit tattoos”, it’s only been a month since the band actually revealed their line-up. The six-piece, featuring members from the TNSRecords roster, have juggled geography and logistics to pull together a punchy 22-minute assertion.

Appetites have already been whetted: 3 singles have surfaced – the menacing, relentless rumble of ‘Remember The Gold Dollar Sign Hoodie?’, the poppy ‘The Tibby Tan Tiger’ and this week, the ode to insomnia, ‘Artex’, was released alongside a video made up of clips submitted by fans; which plays perfectly into the band’s community and DIY principles. The album was also streamed in full, as part of the lockdown-affected Manchester Punk Festival that should have taken place last weekend. The band would have played around 6 gigs by now, and it will be fascinating to see how the Knife Club ‘experiment’ finally translates to a live setting.


From the opening razorblade guitars of ‘Making A Big Meal Of It’, the band deliver a blistering frenzy of tight, terse punk (the longest track clocks in at 2:37) but there’s also a loose, playful, ragged edge to it all – before entering the studio, there was only one practice with everyone in attendance. Immediately, the male/female vocal interplay between Andy Davies (Revenge of the Psychotronic Man) and Zoё Barrow (Casual Nausea/Mousebrass), leaps snottily from the speakers against a furious, thrashy backdrop provided by Eliott Verity (Nosebleed, guitar/vocals), Dan Flanagan (Haest/Matilda’s Scoundrels, guitar), Dani Rascal (Faintest Idea, bass/vocals) and Big Hands (ROTPM, drums). In a similar vein, tracks such as ‘Schnitt Mit Dem Küchenmesser’ (‘cut with the kitchen knife’ – a reference to Hannah Höch’s 1919 Dadaist photomontage criticising the failed patriarchal ‘democracy’ of the Weimar Republic, perhaps?) and ‘27% Of Statistics’ gallop by on rolling chords and almost-tripped-over lyrics.

Because the band are composed from a range of musical leanings, there’s also room to convey themselves across different facets, like on the switching tempos of angular sing-along ‘Working Class Tories’ and the subverted melodi-skate of ‘Do You Want A Knife With That Salad’. In the latter, the desperate plea “get me some scissors” confronts mental wellness, while more obvious songs/titles examine politics and the DIY punk scene. Indeed, on ‘I mean, I’d probably take an Adidas Endorsement’ they implore us to ‘get involved and play a part”; the type of inclusive gang mentality that will make you want to sign up to be a card-carrying member of Knife Club – you’ll need your own ‘shit tattoo’ though.

Like snarling punk with a socially-minded mission statement? ‘We Are Knife Club’ is available on vinyl and CD from TNSRecords; digital copies through Bandcamp. Knife Club has an official site, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Click here for a recent interview with vocalist Andy Davies, in which he discusses Knife Club, Manchester Punk Festival and TNSRecords.