Re-posted by request as although featured here on the blog in 2008, I never seen this one anywhere in the web.
1RKO or First Round Knock Out was formed in the new Century by bassist Brian Spangenberg - member of several groups in the Bay Area in California, most notably Circle Of Soul with which recorded the very good album '91 'Hands of Faith' - decided to join forces with singer Simon Daniels.
Simon, who grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he lived until his teens, it's a L.A. rock scene veteran. He was part of Jailhouse, which debut album 'Alive in a Mad World' (1989) sold over than 50.000 copies and had several videos in rotation on MTV Headbangers Ball.
So you have here veteran musicians from the late '80s L.A. hard rock scene, then expect infectious guitar hooks and catchy choruses.
Tired of labels, they decided go indie and recorded 'First Round Knock Out' by themselves, released in limited quantities in 2006. The fan's answer surprised and the album sold out.
A second edition (this one, with refreshed artwork) appeared in 2007 with two extra tracks.
1RKO sound & style brings to mind Night Ranger Gary Moon era, which to me, it's a plus. Also some Marchello / Vestry but more rough around the edges.
You have kickin', hard rockin' and melodic numbers in "The Man", "One More Time", "Right Now" or the very good cover of The Sweet's classic "Fox On The Run".
But my favorite is the killer melodic hard rocker "So Alive", driven by sharp guitars and featuring great harmony vocals.
As bonus I added two 1RKO unreleased tracks; a strong cover of AC/DC's staple "Hells Bells", and the classy melodic rock "Anything", a really good cut, again, recalling Night Ranger.
01 - Fox On The Run
02 - One More Time
03 - Black And White
04 - Right Now
05 - The Outcome
06 - So Alive
07 - The Man
08 - Hand In Hand
09 - Anything (unreleased) - bonus
10 - Hells Bells (unreleased) - bonus
Simon Daniels - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Derek Stephens - Guitars
Brian Spangenberg - Bass, Vocals
Rich Sacco - Drums
1RKO - First Round Knock Out (2007) +2