Despite ‘Side One’ being the debut effort from British rockers The Cruel Knives, it has the sound of a band much longer in the tooth. Given the fact that they’ve already toured Europe, opening for The Pretty Reckless, and were actually formed from the ashes of Heaven’s Basement, there’s good reason for the slickly professional hard rock tilt to their tunes.
Right from the word go, it’s clear that TCK mean business, as ‘The World We Were Sold’ opens proceedings with a high tempo, hard-edged energetic riff. It’s good old fashioned quality hard rock; great riff, a blazing solo and a killer chorus, what’s not to like? ‘Itch’ follows in quick succession, building on a bass riff into a mid tempo hard rocker with groove. Tom Harris shows his vocal chops before it kicks into a frantic closing section that’s sure to stir up a mosh pit or two.
There is a slightly darker vibe to the opening strains of single ‘Kill The Messenger’. But then they drop another killer riff and it turns into a decent work out with subtle shifts in texture and tempo, making it a great tune. Slow boiling rocker ‘Squeeze’ is a little more obvious, but it pushes all the right buttons, nailing hooks and licks with clinical precision.
‘The Promised Land’ rounds things off with another pulsating groove and a predictably big chorus, once again though, they quite simply nail it. Ok, so they may not exactly be pushing into groundbreaking territory, but when your tunes are this good and delivered with this much panache, it makes for a winning formula.
With five killer tracks and quality in every department, ‘Side One’ makes for a thoroughly enjoyable listen from a band sure to be going places. Roll on Side Two.
‘Side One’ EP by The Cruel Knives is out now on PledgeMusic.
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)