On paper the idea of three middle aged men playing what is described as “late 70’s British punk” conjures up the unfortunate image of wheezing postcard punks, their leather jackets creaking under the weight of U.K Subs patches and safety pins, lumbering around onstage playing out of tune Angelic Upstarts covers all night.
It’s somewhat of a relief to find that this is not the case as the only British punk influence that Greensboro, NC band The Raving Knaves take a nod from is mod punk such as The Jam. The rest of their sound seems to take from Bomp! Records style U.S power pop and unfortunately in the case of tracks such as “Mannaken Pis” and “Big Empty Detroit” an unnerving love of sweaty bar rock.
When you take into account all three members have day jobs and this obviously isn’t being taken too seriously (as in their priority is not inking a massive record deal) the idea of three friends one night a week leaving their wives, kids and the day to day grind of the 9-5, hooking up to blast through the punk rock’n’roll that they all obviously love so much has a certain charm too it. Unfortunately that charm does not last long and by the third song you soon tire of the cheesy pastiche of the aforementioned influences and the sometimes unbearably bad song titles (“flesh hound” – really??) and even worse lyrics, such as the embarrassing “Just Like England” with its frequent references to the “welfare factory”.
Clocking in at just under 30 minutes Atom Age is thankfully over quite soon and unless you want to subject yourself to repeated listens of cheesy Jam inspired karaoke you can turn it off and forget the whole thing ever happened.
The Raving Knaves, as a band, should be left in the rehearsal room and only allowed out on occasion to take part in a battle of the bands competition that happens every couple of months in some generic faceless sports bar somewhere deep in the Midwest between other bands made up of other middle aged guys with proper jobs living out their own teenage rock fantasies.
“The Atom Age” is harmless fun but really, who wants to listen to a record of middle aged men unwinding after work?!
Check out the full stream below and you can buy Atom Age HERE[mp3player width=600 height=340 config=rknaves.xml playlist=rknaves_atomage.xml]