Introducing… Bloody Knees

Our Introducing... series focuses on artists who we think are worth shouting about. Here we have Bloody Knees, who make skate-punk imbued with the essence of horror films.

Introducing… Bloody Knees Here at Bearded we aim to shed light on acts who don't necessarily have giant labels or muscley budgets waving banners behind them. This Introducing series will focus on artists who we think are great, regardless of how much hype surrounds them or where their origin story lays.

Name: Bloody Knees
Location: Cambridge, UK
Genre: Horror-infused skate-punk
Similar Artists: FIDLAR, Swearin’, Wavves
Contact: Facebook, Twitter
Events: Old Blue Last (London) June 19th (EP Launch Party)

What the dickens is horror-infused skate punk said no-one, ever. But it sounds like fun, right? Cambridge’s Bloody Knees do focus on death and mortality in their lyrics, but this doesn’t translate into brooding, gothic sludge. Instead it’s an entertaining kind of horror, as if they’ve written some party jams for Halloween. There’s some sadness in there, but it’s not easy to take that on when the lyrics are being wrapped in such lively punk noise. ‘100 Days’ finds singer Bradley Griffiths lamenting the fact that: “For the first time in my life, I feel old.” Sorry Bradley but everything surrounding your vocals sounds like such a good time. Besides, try being 25, then get back to me.

That lyric quote above is a bit of a misnomer. Bloody Knees are more likely to cheekily skew clichéd song writing structures, instead of wallowing in sadness at not being 18 anymore (at a guess). For example, ‘Who’s Hungry’ is a track that’ll lead off their forthcoming release Bloody Knees EP, due out on June 17th. It opens up like a genuinely sappy surf-rock song as Griffiths sings with a straight face: “Hey there pretty lady, I want you to be my wife.” But things swiftly switch from a Love Actually vibe to an ode for Texas Chainsaw Massacre as he continues: “I wanna crawl inside your skin, and feast on what’s within/ and when I find your heart, I’ll tear that fucking thing apart.” Bloody Knees are fantastic at creating this B-movie horror atmosphere, the sense of mischief making it a riotously good track.

Bloody Knees sound like a rough and scraggly proposition. At the heart of most of their music is a hooky riff that by itself sounds very American pop-punk, circa early noughties. However the ferocity of the percussion and the gruff, distorted vocals helps to create something unique and interesting. It’s a lo-fi sound but you wouldn’t want it cleaned up for the world, you crave that spit and sawdust through the speakers.

The reason behind the blood and guts lyrics is attributed to the fact that front man Bradley Griffiths cleans a hospital for a living. That, along with the fact that Bloody Knees hail from Cambridge is often the first thing people want to write about. It makes sense that every band needs a story to help people understand where they’re coming from, but the Cambridge association seems to throw people off when writing about this band. Neighbouring Oxford gets widely tagged with the smart/math-y musical genre, what with Radiohead and Foals being two of its biggest exports. And yet, Oxford has also has the likes of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and the beach-ready sounds of Chad Valley. With our homogeneous world, there’s no reason why a band from Cambridge making this brilliant racket should sound any less authentic that their American counterparts could. As it says in the ‘Introducing...’ bit up top, it’s about bands and artists who we think are great, regardless of where their origin story lays. And we like these guys. And so should you.