Hailing from the depths of Lincolnshire Knock Out Kaine burst onto the UK rock scene at full throttle in 2012 with the release of debut album ‘House of Sins’. Followed up by an aggressive tour schedule with rock greats such as Love/Hate and Tigertailz plus an appearance opening for Status Quo, the hard rocking quartet have laid down the foundations for the release of their second album.
It is said second album any band produce is arguably the hardest to get right, and with ‘House of Sins’ being such a solid début album it was with both high hopes and mild trepidation that I pressed play on Rise of the Electric Jester for the first time. Album opener ’16 Grams of Heart Attack’ has been out in the wild for a couple of weeks now and certainly acts as a conduit through which we can hear how much the Knock Out Kaine sound has blossomed for this release.
On the surface the guitar work that weaves its way throughout the album is classic KOK, but the discerning listener will pick out the extra melodic layers entwined within the classic hard rocking riffs that are Jimmy Bohemians home turf. Balanced against the lead and rhythm guitar from Jimmy, the bass from Lee Byrne adds breadth to the songs without seeming making any effort to be noticed. Countered perfectly by the more intricate yet still powerful percussion backdrop provided by Danny Crash, and we have all the ingredients which make up the recipe for a high class album. Like any good chef Dean Foxx takes all the ingredients present, and with the addition of his sometimes relentless, sometimes nimble vocals meshes it all together to create a dish that is arguably greater than the sum of its parts.
As with any album there are some songs that really stand out, and because of the variety on offer I am certain that my personal favourites will change as often as the UK weather. Lurking later in the album ‘Flying Blind’ draws us in gently with a soothing keyboard intro before hitting us with full force as it encompasses all the best components of the album and mixes them together into one upbeat anthem. Powerful vocals and a simple sing-a-long chorus will have any listener joining in, combined with catchy riffs purposeful solo shredding from Jimmy sear the track into the mind after just a couple of plays. Then we have ‘Cascades’ which is another upbeat hook laden track albeit with a local twist, as the vocal melody matches the hourly chime of the Cathedral in the band’s home city of Lincoln. Stepping away from hard rocking anthems is something that KOK have no fear of with the offbeat yet perfectly arranged ‘How do I know’ which I will admit had me taken aback on the first listen, but with the help of some exceptional lyrics quickly grew on me. Finally, having heard ‘Boxes’ played live a few times over the past couple of years, it felt like an old friend coming round for a drink with its gentle meandering verses and simple yet soaring chorus.
If you take the passion and talent that catapulted Knock Out Kaine into the rock music scene, give it a few years on the road to mature, add some seriously smooth production skills, and you are left with the polished second album that is ‘Rise of the Electric Jester’. There is enough classic KOK here to satisfy the existing fans, while adding enough variety to introduce new audiences to their music. All underpinned by the fact that Knock Out Kaine are clearly writing the songs they love and playing the music they want to play, and you have a band to keep a close eye on over the coming years.
16 Grams of Heart Attack is available to listen and download from the Rocksector soundcloud site. Click HERE to go there now.
Rise of the Electric Jester is released worldwide on 2nd March 2014 on Rocksector Records. Knock Out Kaine are touring in March to support this release, check social media and their website for up to date details.
1. 16 Grams Of Heart Attack
2. Fire And Smoke
3. How Would I Know
4. Diamond Blue
6. Ain’t Your Kind
8. Flying Blind
9. Because You Were There
10. One More For The Road
Dean Foxx : lead vocals
Danny Krash : drums
Jimmy Bohemian : lead guitar
Lee Byrne : bass guitar