Knock Out Kaine – Cruel Britannia
It wasn’t that long ago that I was drooling over the second album offering from Lincoln based rockers Knock Out Kaine, (KOK). It also doesn’t seem that we will have long to wait before the third and, as an interim, KOK have provided us with a hugely successfully crowd funded EP, Cruel Britannia. The title track is a satirical stab at the British Establishment and encompasses the anarchistic edge of punk with hard rocking riffs. It cleverly entwines a sleazy 80’s vibe with a swirl of modern day Foos–esque rock. Love the Way You Hate could probably be described as the staple KOK sound; a gritty rock ‘n’ roll flavour with just the merest grating of hair metal cheese, enough to get foots tapping and people swaying as the band belt it out during one of their energetic live shows. Going Down has been given a bit of a spit and polish from the debut album House of Sins. It’s a solid rhythm and blues number, full of southern charm and executed flawlessly. The icing on a pretty tasty cake comes from the cover of Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road. Featuring in both the live performances I’ve seen of KOK, it is a well-chosen, well-crafted and respectful production of the classic. This track just shows the professionalism of KOK. They can take the piss, they can rock out and have a great time, and they can produce work that is intricate and serious, all on the same EP!
I want to discuss more than just this EP here. What we have is a mere morsel of what KOK can do. Their recorded work is really quite something. However, to really appreciate this band you need to see them live. You also need to take a moment to look around you and see what they do to people when they play. I did just this at HRH AOR when, quite frankly, KOK tore the place apart. Looking around people started moving forward straight away. Groupie wannabe’s, old school rockers, couples, punks, thrashers, just about everyone that got caught up in the crowd had a great time. And what you could see is the band feeding off that and I guess playing all the better for it. For their part the band have and know their roles. You can see that persona of out and out Rock Gods when they hit the stage. Dean Foxx plays the front-man role like it’s a species all of its own that he was born to. Glasses on, glasses off, he rocks the hell out from start to finish. The music of KOK is infectious and not one single person can do it justice with words, you have to experience it. You don’t just listen to KOK, you feel KOK, you catch yourself moving your shoulders and nodding your head and daydreaming of what it would be like to be a rock star. I think in a different time KOK would have been global contenders. Maybe that time will come back again. For now savour the taste given to us on this EP while we await the next instalment in the KOK story.
23rd May, 2016