THE KNOCKOUTS
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THE KNOCKOUTS

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden | INDIE

Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden | INDIE
Band Rock Punk

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Knockouts - Among The Vultures

Sweden has brought me many decent bands, and along side L.A. there is no better place to find dirty Rock’N’Roll. And whilst I will not mention the quartet that brought us many a catchy tune that is currently slaughtered at your local karaoke bar, singing about money, Waterloo and thanking someone for the music, there was also the band Europe, that brought us one of the most catchy keyboard ‘riffs’ in the space-influenced Rock song in the 80’s, the cute dimpled female lead-singer of The Cardigans that asked us to, “Love me, love me,” for which as a teenager, I for one, was more than willing to comply. Then we had Backyard Babies blasting out their brand of dirty rock that somehow out lived the other rock bands of that time that fell in the wake of Messers Cobain and Vedder, as they took on the world with unwashed hair, lumberjack shirts and self-loathing. Hardcore Superstar, that despite popular belief wasn’t a band lead by Jenna Jamison or Traci Lords, had a Sleazy edge to a hard rock basis, that through future albums twisted in psychedelic and 70’s Rock, with an Areosmith-esque Blues’n’Roll and an ejaculation of sleaze. We’ve then had many bands from The Helicopters, Bombshell Rocks & The Hives, to The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Millencolin, & Franky Lee…

So there is the history folks, and my apologies for all of those great bands I’ve missed. Here with The Knockouts what we get is The Backyard Babies with a Rock’n’Roll leaning, splashing in the stripped down Rock sound of The Gaslight Anthem, and some cheeking flashes of Punk. First song, ‘Head For The Hunted’ has feverish riffs that drip from the guitar before singer/guitarist Johan Frandsen’s vocals kick in with the same raspy, whiskey-soaked voice as that of Backyard Babies’ Nicke Borg, and this is therefore leading to obvious comparisons to the aforementioned band. ‘Under The Light’ has a rock swagger to it and the rhythm section of Ted Jergelind on drums, and the added coolness of Ken Stone’s upright bass, pull things together nicely.

I’ll be honest, I stumbled over the band on MySpace, and it was the next song, and lead single, ‘A Lie Like Natalie’ that was the first song that I heard, and it hooked me straight away. It’s an instant anthem that has guitars that are a little Surf-Rock, and with the upright bass it has the coolness of a Rock’n’Roll song, with the grit and speed of Punk Rock. Great stuff. Next song, ‘Queen Of The Underground’ starts with some nice melodic guitars and builds into a song with a catchy chorus. Then we have the deep vein of Punk pulsating through in the thoughtful lyrics of, ‘The Chimneys Of Chemnitz’ which talks about the German city as the scars of war remain there for all to see. The words proclaim, “Bricks and glass all smashed to pieces // And bullet holes in the concrete walls // There’s no place for us in this city // But to say goodnight took us all night long…”, Musically the song is Punk Rock’n’Roll, with the vocals spat out, and the tempo at a breakneck pace.

‘Faith Avenue’ is one of those instant classic tracks with chugging guitars and pounding drums. The construction of the song is simple and hugely effective, and with the added harmonies popping up unexpectedly it’s pure Punk Rock joy! This then goes to the slightly Country-influenced jig of, ‘Ever Bee Hurt’ that could’ve easily been penned by the likes of Chuck Ragan. It’s a nice foot-tapper, with the lyrics asking, “But what are the kids gonna say? // When I tell them that you ran away // feeling hurt”. Whilst the foot may well have a break from being fully on the gas, this is not a slow-filler of a track, but a nice change of direction that is still quick in tempo, but stripped down musically. Things then return to full throttle in, ‘Another Second…’ as Johan shouts out, “So wipe off Saturday’s nose bleed // Cuz you’ll never see the end of the war!” whilst we have some great crunching guitar riffs. This is gritty Rock at it’s best, full of sweat, tears and the metallic taste of blood.

Once again the style is shuffled in the pack and what we get dealt is a slice of Rockabilly-Swing with brass, and the deep plod of the upright bass, with shuffling drum-beats, and the slightly fuzzy vocals: it reeks of cigars, and hard liquor, whilst sparkling light a diamond through the blue smoke of an exclusive club. Then just in case you were still not sure where this band hail from we get the message in, ‘Streets Of Stockholm’ in the speedy-quick gallop of a track as they claim Stockholm as their own. ‘Time And Motion’ keeps the foot firmly to the floor as the album draws to a close, and there is just time for the slow final song, ‘Here’s A Song’ for us to catch our breath, however this even speeds up turning into a gang-chanting song in the end showing that this band are unrelenting, fun and musically exciting.

Some albums, especially in the Punk genre, can have a couple of good songs and a bunch of mediocre fill - by Jim Ody


The Knockouts - 'Among The Vultures' (Diamond Prime Music)

You know how there are some albums that you get that before you've taken the disc out of the slipcase or opened the booklet you know you're going to like what you're about to hear, right?



It's like a sixth sense, a rock 'n' roll feeling, whatever you want to call it. Well, The Knockouts did that to me. I knew this was going to be an album that I was going to enjoy immensely and it didn't let me down - from the stand up bass and uber cool white Gretsch on the cover, I'd go as far as say, in fact, it was better than I imagined.



One thing I love is the sound of an overdriven Gretsch hollow body and a stand up bass having the holy fuck slapped out of it - from the Stray Cats to The Living End, as different as they are they rock in their own ways. Welcome The Knockouts to that cool elite band of..well, bands.



Made up of three players with stand up bass and the Rolls Royce of electric guitars, these boys hail from Sweden and it's nice to see they don't follow the crowd of guylinered sleaze dudes, instead dishing up a rockabilly, punk rockin' shit storm. Obvious comparisons will be drawn to other three piece line ups who use the same instruments, like the aforementioned The Stray Cats or The Living End - well, maybe if you look somewhere in between the sound of those two bands then you might find The Knockouts. With a little Reverend Horton Heat slung in for good measure and a twist of Mike Ness jamming with Rancid over a cover or two of the Backyard Babies.



It's the real deal kids and songs like 'Chimneys Of Chemnitz' and 'Faith Avenue' prove that this band can stand on its own six feet and punch their own hole in a genre of music through the quality of the songwriting which just happens to shine through like an absolute huge fuck off diamond. I love this shit and with such a melting pot of influences, from the earliest of late 50's and 60's originals through to the punk of the 70's and a bit of AC/DC just for good measure, I can't see what's not to like.



There is some great guitar picking on the Ness-ish 'Ever Been Hurt' which changes the pace of the music on offer and is a stark difference to the following number 'Another Second, Another Minute, Another Day' which sounds like a runaway train. 'Rotten & Obsessed' honks in with horns a plenty and with one foot in a Charlie Watts big band camp and the other in a punk rockin' brothel creeper ready to pogo, simply superb!



A dozen songs played with passion, craft, guts and authenticity - get hold of a copy and find out for yourself. I bet these guys kick up a sweaty riot live as well. I don't know, some bands eh? Showing off - it's not always big or clever but The Knockouts flick a quiff at that and on this evidence they can show off all they like! From the opening bar of 'Heat For The Hunted' to the final refrain of 'Here's A Song', this album is an absolute joy! - by Dom Daley


The Knockouts Among the Vultures

Fusing rockabilly and punk isn’t the most original idea in the world. HorrorPops, The Living End, and of course Reverend Horton Heat have tread these Mississippi Delta via the River Thames waters for years, and with varying degrees of success. So maybe The Knockouts’ newest slab of rockabilly punk isn’t the most innovative thing ever created, but for the Stockholm-based trio, Among the Vultures is so damn fun, catchy, and well done, that it really doesn’t matter.

Though they tout themselves as the “missing link between the Stray Cats and Green Day,” this isn’t an entirely accurate description. The Stray Cats reference is certainly accurate, but the Green Day comparison may be a bit of a stretch. Not to take anything away from Billy Joe and the boys, who are masters of their craft, but the sheer variety of chords and guitar solos present on Among the Vultures puts The Knockouts in a completely different category, one more reminiscent of the Toy Dolls or the Dickies. It also lacks that perfect pop punch, which, depending on who you ask, could be a good or bad omission, but in this case, keeps everything from sounding like commercialized plastic.

Opening track “Head for the Hunted,” kicks things off with more than its share of energy and attitude. Excellent riffs (some that strangely seem to evoke early Def Leppard), great guitar playing, and the cooler-than-you-but-not-in-a-cocky-way vibe define the song and act as a great overview of the album as a whole. “Under the Light” follows in a similar fashion, though with some very well-placed horns during the chorus, and a midsection that could only be described as heavy rockabilly. Perhaps the line from sock hops to mosh pits is shorter than anyone would have guessed.

“Queen of the Underground” is heavy on the “Stray Cat Strut” vibe, but the gang vocal-fueled punk chorus keeps it fresh and ensures its integrity. More Brian Setzer-influenced playing shows up during the top-notch solo in “Rotten and Obessed,” but with its unique trumpet break, 40s night club-tinged vocals, and West Side Story finger snaps, Mr. Setzer would have a hard time being anything but extremely impressed, a even a bit jealous.

Other standout tracks include “Faith Avenue,” which absolutely would have been at home on the Toy Dolls’ classic Idle Gossip, and “Ever Been Hurt,” a laid back, acoustic-filled country ballad that lets off on the energy, but not the emotion.

The K.O. only seems to be directed at the band on closing track “Here’s a Song.” Though not a total travesty, the song seems designed to be a big, pub-worthy sing-a-long, but somehow manages to fall a bit flat, ending the record on a rather monotonous, uninspired note. After the overall excellence of the previous 11 songs, however, it’s hard to complain too much. Looks like Sweden has yet again delivered a stellar album from a stellar band. Now it’s time for the rest of the world to give it a listen. - by Trevor Portz


Discography

1998 - Self titled debut 7” single(The Knockouts Music Inc EBP-666), produced by Thomas Skogsberg (The Hellacopters etc)

(2000 - Full length promotional album Skyline Supernova (EBP-001), recorded in Sunlight Studio)

2000 - Various compilation recordings etc; including A Fist Full Of Rock (Devil Doll Records)

(2004 - 4 track ep self titled THE KNOCKOUTS)

2008 - Full length album, El Fin De La Guerra (DVI/Generation Tones GT-001)

2009/2010 - Full length album, AMONG THE VULTURES (Diamond Prime Music/Sound
Pollution)

2010 - Compilation album, Most People Are Dead (I Hate People)

2010 – Compilation album, Dancing On Your Graves – A Rockabilly Tribute To The Hellacopters (Wild Kingdom)

2013 - Full length album, 5000 MILES FROM LOUISVILLE (Diamond Prime Music/Sound
Pollution)

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Bio

KNOCKOUTS are back - better than ever and have released Killer NEW Album!

April 26 2013, THE KNOCKOUTS released the sequel to the critically acclaimed and award winning album “Among the Vultures”. The NEW album THE KNOCKOUTS “5000 Miles From Louisville” was recorded and mixed at the world renowned Park Studio in February 2013 by star producer Stefan Boman, who has worked with Scandinavia’s powerhouse acts such as KENT, The Hives, Turbonegro, The Hellacopters, Backyard Babies among others.

THE KNOCKOUTS “5000 Miles From Louisville” heralds a new phase in THE KNOCKOUTS brand of punchy rockabilly and razor sharp country punk! It is delivered with cocky energy, authority and a musicality that is stronger, slicker and more dynamic – leaving you wanting more!
And fantastic reviews are pouring in, from all over the world!

Success has followed THE KNOCKOUTS, stealing the trophy for the Best Punk Album at the highly acclaimed American Independent Music Awards, along with two other nominations; Best Punk Song (Heat for the Hunted)
and Best Alt. Country Song (Ever Been Hurt). And with the single “A Lie Like In Natalie”, on high rotation on the national Swedish rock stations BANDIT ROCK, and “Heat for the Hunted” being chosen as third BEST ROCK song on P3 ROCK.

A regular on the biggest European rock festivals such as Peace & Love, Putte i Parken, West Coast Riot, Azkena Rock Spain, and more… The success of the Album, “Among the Vultures”, included massive tour schedules throughout Europe. They´ve shared stage with Social Distortion, Aggrolites, The Living End etc. And not that long ago THE KNOCKOUTS were invited to open Brian Setzer's (Founder of the Stray Cats) Rockabilly Riot Tour. Joining them in gigs across Europe and Scandinavia ending with an EXPLOSION as THE KNOCKOUTS front man Johan Frandsen joined fellow Gretsch Guitars/ TV Jones endorsed artist, the legendary Stray Cats front man Brian Setzer and drummer Slim Jim Phantom on the stage for the encore performance at the Helsinki Ice Hall. Setzer called Frandsen to the stage and handed his white Brian Setzer Hot Rod signature Gretsch Guitar to Johan to conclude the tour in Scandinavia.

2012 forced THE KNOCKOUTS to have a break in their otherwise packed touring schedule (as Johan Frandsen was seriously ill) but 2012 also saw the gig of the year with Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) and Jonny Bowler (Guana Batz, Nick 13/Tiger Army) Flying in from California specifically to celebrate Johan’s 30th Birthday! Creating a buzz on the streets of Stockholm, this classic one night only performance was worth the wait for fans and signified THE KNOCKOUTS were back in the ring and ready to rumble.

Explosive trio THE KNOCKOUTS have been described as one of Sweden’s hardest touring bands and consists of three exceptionally talented musicians; Johan Frandsen (Vocals /Guitar), Ted Jergelind (Drums) and Ken Stone (Upright Bass). They always manage to deliver flawless tunes, a mix of laid-back rockabilly and razor sharp country punk, with as much feeling as attitude. “5000 Miles From Louisville” takes you to a place where the tunes get you in the mood and the melodies get stuck in your memory and last!

THE KNOCKOUTS frontman Johan Frandsen has once again outdone himself with killer song writing on this stunning sequel album “5000 Miles From Louisville”. Together with Stefan Boman THE KNOCKOUTS have again created magic and music history, “5000 Miles From Louisville” beats it country heart loud with those catchy melodies that linger!

The highly anticipated album “5000 Miles from Louisville” have already got fantastic reviews all over the world, as THE KNOCKOUTS gear up for the start of their worldwide tours schedule.

THE KNOCKOUTS - Swedish dynamite at it's best!

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THE KNOCKOUTS is by far one of the BEST and hottest acts out there, at the moment!
This Swedish trio really IS something special - highly addictive songs that fuse energetic rock n roll with the unstoppable force and heart of cocky punk rock, in a masterly way.

THE KNOCKOUTS - With faith in Punk rock since 1996. Johan Frandsen (lead vocals/guitar), Ted Jergelind (drums) and Ken Stone (upright bass) creates the perfect rock n´ roll band that we´ve all been waiting for - incredible musicians, astonishing songwriting, good looks & extraordinary live performances!

THE KNOCKOUTS is something exceptional!
These boys play it hard and loud: So prepare to be “KNOCKED OUT”

“A Knockout, as you might know, means that a boxer knocks out his opponent with such force that he won’t get up before the referee counts to ten. You can’t summarize this punch in the face; THE KNOCKOUTS from Stockholm, Sweden!”
/West Coast Riot Festival 2009

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