KNOCKOUT PILLS, THE: Self-titled: LP

Sometimes, it’s hard for me to let go. I know, I know, The Weird Lovemakers are done. They’ve fractured: one guy actually getting a girlfriend, the Radio Reelers, and The Knockout Pills. Whereas the Weird Lovemakers were, gloriously, all over the map, the Knockout Pills have their feet steadfastly planted in harmony-rich ‘60s rock, like The Zombies and The Animals. While these guys have a healthy dose of respect to give the songs a true charge, they aren’t so respectful that it seems like a merely coloring in of existing musical shapes. Nuts get kicked. Instruments get whacked. So, yeah, there’s some understandable similarity to the New Bomb Turks, but not too much to think these guys don’t have brains and extensive record collections of their own. Ultimately, what’s pleasant about this LP is how listenable it is. When it gets mellow and a harmonica gets broken out in “Confused,” it burns slowly without getting sleepy. When they pick it up, your ear gets humped. Not to sound like Leonard Nimoy narrating In Search Of…, but as a dawn that casts long shadows slowly gives away to mid day, when a band has to stand up by themselves regardless of their predecessors, The Knockout Pills pull out their own revolvers, and prove themselves. Although the album didn’t stun me right off the bat, with each successive listen, it gets deeper and stronger. Enthusiastic thumbs up.

 –todd (Dead Beat)