Hard-Fi - Suburban Knights

Stas Werno 17/08/2007

Rating: 5/5

"On the Saturday night of this year's Glastonbury, having just been pleasantly surprised by Editors' set, I found myself at a loose end, with no acts catching my eye on my already disintegrated pocket guide. This is, of course, the best situation to be in at the festival. You're free to wander the muddy fields of Pilton to catch all manner of surprises, ranging from the bizarre - men carrying live car batteries with their nipples - to the sensational - Hard-Fi's unannounced headline set for Love Music Hate Racism. Wandering in to the Leftfield tent tanked up on all manner of cider - warm, spicy, flat - I figured I knew what to expect, being pretty accustomed to their live shows, but was none the less happy I'd somehow timed my aimless straggling to intercept the beginning of what I knew was to be, at its worst, a great performance. It turned out to be one of the best shows I saw the whole weekend. The band were refreshed, Richard Archer was as animated and charged as every front man should be and, of course, we got our first taste of what's to come on the new album - including first single 'Suburban Knights'.

The track was easily the highlight of the set, but what was most astonishing about it was to come the next morning. Awoken by the rain after no more than a few hours sleep, with a clarity of mind even Dr. Logan's Bub would find frustrating, I found I could only piece together most of the events of the previous evening with the photos I had taken on my phone (no thanks to the flat cider, I'm sure). Yet every detail of the song remained firmly embedded in my conscious after only one listen. All weekend I mumbled the lyrics, hummed the "oooh's" and "aaah's", and even remembered what it was called - it had passed the old grey whistle test with honours, and I couldn't wait to hear it again properly as soon as I got back to normality to judge it's affect on a more sober mind.

So here I am fittingly reviewing the single for this very site, still feeling the same about it as I did all those months ago. If you're not a fan of the 'Fi then reading this far was pretty much a waste of your time, but if 'Stars of CCTV' left you gasping for more then 'Suburban Knights' is an incredibly promising taster for the west London quartet's return. It's the sound of a more confident band, even less worried about wearing their multi-genre influences on their sleeves than they were before, as is apparent with the dub delays and filtered synthesisers littered throughout the track. It's bold, boastful and catchy. The lyrics are empowered, written as if Archer were the chosen spokesman for every man and woman working a mundane 9-5. And, despite the current attitude towards buying music (no thanks to the Internet), it does what singles are meant to do - satisfy you to an extent, but leave you thirsty for the album it's promoting."

Released: 20/08/07

Watch "HARD-FI - Making Of The 'Suburban Knights" Video