The boys are back in town. Lincoln based rock ‘n’ rollers Knock Out Kaine returned home after their hugely successful European tour supporting Adler’s Appetite. And what better way to relax from a chaotic few weeks on the road than by getting wankered in their local pub.
It’s hard to believe that these guys haven’t directly transported out of a time loop from 1985. Their swagger, charm, and looks reek just as heavily of cliché glam rock as their music. Vocalist Dean Foxx manages to represent this with his ‘Walkin’ Cliché’ waistcoat patch, which gets a chuckle and a headshake from my friend and I. But even though their stereotypical approach to the genre lingers dangerously close to parody (Steel Panther anyone?) their musical abilities are actually top dog, and there isn’t a note or riff out of place.
After opening their set with a longer than needed introduction – the happy go lucky ‘Hooray For Hollywood’ tune and then a heavy doom and gloom rock ‘n’ roll will destroy your daughter’s soul sort of thing – they fired into action with a rendition of ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen. A pretty impressive start. And apart from one other cover of Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell’ the rest of the set is all their own. And what an impression they leave. Lyrically fabulous and funny (if ‘One Night In Paris’ doesn’t make you giggle then you’re clearly misinterpreting) and full of ear shattering guitar solos and tight drum beats, Knock Out Kaine deliver a performance that would leave any 80’s enthusiast happy. Each member has their own charismatic stage persona too. Dean Foxx is the vivacious, gobby, egotistical front man whose claims that all the lyrics are true stories are probably a little far fetched. Danny Krash is the topless, sweaty drummer with the bizarre facial expressions. Lee Burn is the cute and crazy bassist, who flirts with the audience and head bangs relentlessly to the faster tracks. And Jimmy Bohemian is the elusive silent type that remains hidden from view, but is the fingers behind the astounding guitars. If Joe Perry and Mick Mars had a love child, it would be Jimmy.
Acoustic ballads, sleazy songs of backstreet lovin’, the old bromide of coming home off the long and winding road from tour, and every other thing associated with the likes of old school Bon Jovi and Guns N’ Roses, these guys have got it. But don’t let the stinking cliché deter you from checking them out. They have talent to brag about and a performance to brighten up your mundane Monday.
“Knock Out Kaine ditch any pretence that the last two decades mattered and go straight for the ‘80s crotch with the swagger of Motley and a fingerless leather-gloved fistful of steroidal man-ballads and backcombed sleaze anthems instead.” – Kerrang!
If you want a feel for the Sunset Strip circa ’85 then you can catch Knock Out Kaine on several dates across the UK, as well as at this year’s Download festival. Dates can be found on their official page and also their Myspace music page. Their latest E.P ‘Kandykaine’ is available from iTunes, featuring the tracks ‘Little Crystal’, ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Going Down’.
Photo (c) knockoutkaine.com