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The Cruel Knives - Side Two

The Cruel Knives
Side Two
by Kai Naiman at 04 October 2019, 3:57 AM

The United Kingdom is one of the most predominant countries that’s known for being the hub for some of the world’s finest virtuosos – from the timeless masters of the BEATLES and the QUEEN fame, to the modern HAKEN and TESSERACT camps, there was never a shortage in diverse and creative musical ingenuity coming from the island-nation. In 2017, a new project, THE CRUEL KNIVES, emerged with their debut record, “Side One”. A couple years had gone by, and their sophomore release, which was properly named as “Side Two”, was introduced and stands on the judgment podium.

While “Side Two” is a Hard Rock-oriented album, it contains some very intriguing elements that the average listener may not expect. With the opening track, “Black Eye Friday”, commencing, one can witness a heavier undertone; THE CRUEL KNIVES, unexpectedly, managed to build tension from the very beginning, and wrapped it around their Hard Rock-persona in a very suitable fashion – while managing to sound like no other. Sophomore “Hollow People” is a catchy number. The guitar work by Sid Glover proves fantastic and sustains the contrast between his band’s sound to other Hard Rock artists – by virtually being a grimmer shade to the rest of the instruments and making their sound much darker, emphatic, and overall – unique. Tom Harris’ vocals are terrific as well, and with a little more refinement in future records – could venture to new horizons.

THE CRUEL KNIVES, while not the biggest name in British Rock scene, by a long shot – managed to create a very wholesome and warm production in “Side Two”, and the third track “If This Is The End (I’ve Been A Fool From The Start)”, has perhaps the best production of the record. Regardless the needlessly long title, this is one of the robust tracks on the whole album, and the band, as whole this time, resonate. The album, lyrically, circles around a personal reflection that follows a romantic affliction that occurred, and this track is the manifestation of the entire story – and the surrounding tone the band exhumes suits that lyrical-theme perfectly. The adjacent tracks bear no difference and are similarly well-composed and written tracks as to their former.

Frankly, I have to note, that “Side Two” by THE CRUEL KNIVES throws me back to my adolescence, when my most played bands on Youtube were THIRTY MINUTES TO MARS and THREE DAYS GRACE, and the album as a whole feels much like the former. Without a doubt, the guys at THE CRUEL KNIVES managed to create a very modern and innovative version of the worn-out, cliché Hard Rock genre. It does sound and feel to me, as if progress is being made – and I look forward to listen to what will come next, with the ‘Third Side’ future release.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Black Eye Friday
2. Hollow People
3. If This Is The End (I’ve Been A Fool From The Start)
4. Maybe I Should Know
5. Blood In The Water
6. On A Leash
7. Crawl
Tom Harris – Vocals
Sid Glover – Guitars
Rob Ellershaw – Bass
Al Junior – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 05 October 2022

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