Written by: TL on 07/06/2009 13:16:49

Okay so if you've just read the headline of this review, you probably know what's coming. Seeing as I am over 13 years of age and don't go out with the mask of Zorro painted on my face I'm obviously not a part of Aiden's target demographic and as such it would be fair for you to expect me to act like the quality police once again and put yet another of the band's records away for good. I'm going to stay my judgment for a spell though, the right to a fair trial born in mind, because compared to last time Aiden stood before this court (on 2007's "Conviction") this time there is actually some mitigating circumstances to be found.

It's not that proceedings start out well for Wil Francis and his gang though. Opening your album with some emo guy moaning "Fuck me, fuck you, fuck this whole city and everyone in it" simply sets off all the cliché-alarms and only worsens the prejudice harbored towards the band. As soon as the first actual song comes around though, it becomes apparent that either the band themselves or someone at Victory Records have gained a better understanding of Aiden's nature since "Conviction". With a softly singing, angst-filled Francis on vocals, "Conviction" seemed like Aiden's shot at sincerity, and effectively was as credible (and annoying) as a Tokio Hotel album. It didn't work, enough said.

Here instead we see a return to the elements that made the band to begin with. Besides of course the ridiculous cartoon-goth getups and the cheesy vampire-novel-esque lyrics (which are still omnipresent by the way), Aiden used to have an over the top attitude and a punk rock energy that went a long way towards making you excuse their obvious drawbacks. The fact is that like many other bands in the punk rock scene, Aiden aren't exactly overburdened with talent. They probably couldn't write an interesting riff to save their lives. Their singer still sings pretty shitty even on the fourth album and apparently their lyrical themes still seem like something out of a gothy highschool teen's poetry book. This is why they need the sloppy speed and raw conviction that are trademark of the punk rock scene - to cover their shortcomings up and pack some punch into their music. This is what's come back on "Knives". Gone is the identity crisis of "Conviction" and instead we have a bunch of songs that don't get their cheesy nature blown out of proportion. One of them is actually even decent, that one being "Let The Right One In" (inspired by a certain critically acclaimed Swedish vampire flick maybe?).

Redeeming factors aside though, this is still a bit of a stinker. The 'creepy' female monologue in the middle of the album (including keywords "breasts", "panties", "bitemarks" and "blood") is just another example of how utterly tasteless Aiden are. As usual controversy seems more important than content or credibility and any self-respecting music fan wouldn't be caught dead with this album in possession. It's a bit of a shame really, because the actual music isn't that annoying this time around, hell, it's borderline decent, but it's just too damn hard to pull your mind from the fact that it's the kind of thing that appeals the most to fanatic "Twilight" fans. So all in all, while I'm not going to pass a death sentence, I will judge "Knives" to spend the rest of its days in some shadow far from my playlist.


Download: Let The Right One In
For The Fans Of: Kill Hannah, HIM, Tokio Hotel, I Am Ghost

Release Date 12.05.2009
Victory Records

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