Knockout Kid is a five-piece pop punk band from Chicago, IL. They've been around for a few years now and have a few releases under their belt. Their second full-length release, It Comes with the Job Description, is set to release on March 26, and it has the potential to take the band to the next level.
Going into my first listen of It Comes with the Job Description, I noticed that most of the new album is comprised of re-recorded versions of old songs from Your Name All Over it (2011) and The Callback EP (2013). With that being said, all of the material - whether it be re-recorded or unreleased to this point - is very catchy, fun pop punk that many would classify as easycore. Almost every chorus has the ability to get stuck in your head because of the catchiness, but tracks like "...is a Dead Man," "Not 5-0," and "One for the Team, Two for the Dream" feature a few of the strongest choruses.
Circling back to the easycore sound that Knockout Kid displays on It Comes with the Job Description, it can best be likened to With the Punches' older material or Kid Liberty; however, Knockout Kid is not a carbon copy of either of the aforementioned bands. The vocals and instrumentals are similar to Kid Liberty and With the Punches, but again, Knockout Kid adds a bit of their own flavour to each aspect.
The vocals are primarily cleanly sung, but harsh vocals are utilized more often in tracks like "Catalina" and "Interstate". These tracks also feature happy-sounding breakdowns that are excellent and slot in with the rest of the music very well. Furthermore, "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh" features a breakdown coupled with the gang chants of "don't pick yourself up on the drive home," which sounds a lot like A Day to Remember. That breakdown is actually one of my favourite parts on the entire album!
Aside from the breakdowns, Knockout Kid keeps things upbeat and with a happy vibe. It's hard to describe, but everything from the melodic riffs and chords to the drumming has that happy vibe. "How the Midwest Was Won" and "Keep It Running: 10k and a Getaway" are perfect examples of how the music sounds very uplifting and positive; those are also a few of my personal favourite tracks.
This is a sound that has been done several times in the past, but thankfully for Knockout Kid, it hasn't been beaten to death. Also, this 'easycore' style has been fairly non-existent in recent years as bands are maturing and/or striving for a more straight-up pop punk sound. If It Comes with the Job Description was released a few years ago, I probably would have liked it a bit less (that's something you don't hear every day) because, as I mentioned, it was such a popular style back then. The timing is right for Knockout Kid, though, and I think that many people will feel the same way and thoroughly enjoy this release because it sounds fresh.
For Fans Of: Kid Liberty, We Still Dream, With the Punches