As striking and original as Jawbox's Grippe, Fugazi's The Argument, and the Mars Volta's Tremulant EP, No Knife truly comes into its own with Riot for Romance!, the San Diego band's fourth album. Passionately crossing Wire, Gang of Four and the Clash, Riot for Romance! proves the band to be a worthy successor to the much-lauded At the Drive-In. The record begins with the angular title track, a stunning and previously unheard-of juxtaposition of post-punk and reggae -- perhaps No Knife's best song -- that evokes the brilliance of the Clash without ever sounding the least bit derivative. "Permanent for Now" is a wailing and off-kilter, oddly uplifting tune that sounds like no other. "Swinging Lovers" has a manic guitar edge that beautifully recalls early-'90s punk. By the time the album reaches its fifth track, the simple, fragile love song "Feathers and Furs," it's clear that No Knife has escaped all of the genre labels previously heaped upon it, standing out as a spectacular and uncompromising rock & roll band by anyone's standards.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano