The debut album from local ska/bluegrass/punk/funk/mariachi band The Knockouts not only inhabits each genre at some point, but transitions into them with intention instead of blindly borrowing. The combination sounds like circus punk, as if The Clash woke up in 2011, put on some funny costumes and picked up a banjo. So many genres can be identified that naming them all is futile. What you really need to know is that The Knockouts pull it off; ska horns steal the funky show in “Capitol Freak On” and round out the Mexican-sounding “Ceviche Polka,” which is sung in Spanish.
The band draws clear instrumental influence from Ireland, Mexico and the muggy hoe-downs of the South. Both Irish and Southern American farmers found ways to express their comparable financial hard times in the strophic fiddle laments of Celtic folk and bluegrass. The resigned hope for a better day paired with punk’s desperate denial of material satisfaction gives The Knockouts’ genre meld meaning and complexity. The instrumentation is pure and bold, the singer believes in his words, and no genre can own either.
Performing these tunes from the Pogues:
If I Should Fall From Grace With God
Streams of Whiskey
The Boys From The County Hell
The Ghost of a Smile
Battle of Brisbane
The Broad Majestic Shannon
Dark Streets of London
I'm A Man You Don't Meet Every Day
Rock n Roll Paddy
The Body Of An American
Sunny Side of the Street
Greenland Whaling Fisheries
Dirty Old Town
Whiskey You're The Devil
Steve Casadont - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Steering Wheel.
Kevin Sims – Bass, Chief Wardrobe Consultant.
John James-Pennywhistle, Saxophone, Head Vibe Merchant.
Joe Ellison - Drums, Backing Vocals, haberdashery
Joe Meadows-Accordion, quarter-deck backing vocals, duck calls
Danny Cottar-Banjo, hypnotism
Noel Beverly – Mandolin, Lead and backing vocals, sanity