Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze
Label - Rocksector Records
01 - 16 Grams of Heart Attack
02 - Fire and Smoke
03 - How Would I Know
04 - Diamond Blue
05 - Cascading
06 - Ain't Your Kind
07 - Boxes
08 - Flying Blind
09 - Because You Were There
10 - One More For the Road
Knock Out Kaine come out of the traps snarling with attitude on the full throttle opener "16 Grams Of Heart Attack" This is no holds barred, tumultuous hard rock at it’s best. "Fire And Smoke" bears all the hallmarks of a Skid Row in their pomp. Brash guitars, dangerous vocals with voracious power.
"How Would I Know" shows that this band isn't all about savage mayhem. Everything about this track exudes a real song writing intelligence. The chorus is instantly likeable with it's feel good '80s hook.
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 Bohemian's 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 hard rockin' album.
Like any good chef vocalist 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.
The bluesy strut of "Diamond Blue" makes way for a funk licked "Cascading", with Bohemian’s audacious riff giving this tune balls of steel. It’s another vocal hard rock master-class on "Ain't Your Kind". Foxx is clearly a man with an impressive range, so much so you’d be forgiven for thinking he gargles with razor blades, such is the distinct rawness in his voice. And one listen to this jewel of a track and your hooked.
If the complete lunacy and eccentricity of "Boxes" doesn’t afford you a smile or a uncomfortable chuckle, be very worried. This madcap orgy of unconventional hard rock is irresistible start to finish.
The guys regain their sanity with a hefty dollop of acoustics on "Flying Blind", a song that should seduce the airwaves with little difficulty.
"Because You Were There" is an able and solid ballad, with neat and tidy verses followed by a cautiously safe chorus. But in truth, it doesn't quite reach the heights of the previous tracks. Which I suppose is a backhanded compliment due to the quality of the writing on this album.
Final track "One More For The Road" throws out more versatility from a band with many tools in their locker. A slick and arrogant groove that unearths an American vibe closes the album in style.
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.
If there's any justice left in this fickle music world of ours, 2015 should be a rip roaring year for Knock Out Kaine. This band's music brings more weight to my belief that a second coming of the true Rock domination we enjoyed in the '80s is imminent.
Rating - 9/10