ALBUM REVIEW: Young Knives – Barbarians | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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Released: 04.09.20







Barbarians continues Young Knives trajectory of odd, claustrophobic rock music with fairly mixed results. Where the band’s canny sense of melody has all but been intentionally rejected, the sense of humour still remains, most notably on Society For Cutting Up Men. There is a slightly myopic nihilism present throughout, notably on the title track and opener Swarms.

Highlights include the Radiohead-esque Jenny Haniver, which marries tender, melancholy folksiness with electronics to mesmerising effect and the hypnotic centrepiece I Am Awake. It’s quite compositionally try-hard at points, and more often than not, the clever-clever exercises are at the expense of any meaningful connection. As daring as it is, it’s pretty austere music that isn’t much fun to listen to.


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