I'll get right to the burning question: what the hell is a knacker? The word has picked up several meanings in its travels through the English language: a testicle (singular); a nomad (see gypsy
); UK slang for urban trailer trash; a buyer of old horses for slaughter. I'm not sure which meaning these guys are claiming, but the traveler/dirty hooligan connotation is well suited to a rock band, as is the implication that they've got balls.
Knacker is a classic four-piece guitar-pop group in the hooky-yet-edgy vein of the Kinks, with a dash of '70s cock rock thrown in. Picture | Show is quite a catchy, if not terribly groundbreaking, record; brothers Dean (guitar) and Pete (bass) Marino harmonize fetchingly while Jefrey Nedza's melodic and often synthesizer-esque guitar-work chimes and hurtles around them. Chris Edelman's drumming is driving and solid, as befits any self-respecting rock n' roll band. The songs are straightforward in concept as well as execution, being largely about people and their relationships... but the lyrics are well-written, injecting a welcome freshness into an old idea. Knacker have accumulated a string of successes (an award nomination, spots on various college playlists, licensings to TV shows and film soundtracks, spots in big festival shows) in their native Canada, but have yet to make much of a splash in more southerly latitudes (mostly because it doesn't seem as if they've played much in the US). Picture | Show, in combination with some heavy touring, could very well change all that.