‘She’s a Knockout’
Caffeine were a really big deal around the turn of the millennium. From London, they toured with everyone from Blink-182 (we’ll forgive them for that) to the Offspring. They played Wembley Arena. They toured the US. They had 100,000 downloads on MP3.com in only two days. And then they went on hiatus in 2006. Bassist/vocalist Scott McEwan went on to form The Candle Thieves, and guitarist J. Browning formed Calling All Astronauts. But now, they’re back. Supersonic Media will be re-releasing all their content, and they’re working on a new album for 2021.
‘She’s a Knockout’ picks up largely where they left off, a super-charged, wall of guitars attack. McEwan does not have the sort of voice one would usually associate with this wall of sound and drum machine attack, he’s not gruff and snarling; rather, his voice is clear and powerful. And it is in the dissonance of music v. voice that Caffeine operate. This is one catchy single, and I hear everything from early Jesus Jones to Sisters of Mercy to the Wombats to Ned’s Atomic Dustbin here, though updated for the 21st century.
Browning’s guitars do not give up or give in throughout the song, and a delicious little synth riff travels over top as McEwan’s bass chugs along and the drums hit hard. I think I’ve listened to this song three times in a row, a wonderful little bit of ear candy.