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The origin of gritty alt-pop combo Knockout Drops can be traced to Long Island, NY, where Chris Campion (vocals), Tom Licameli (guitar), and Phil Mastrangelo (bass) first bonded over a shared love of influences. Moving their base of operations to New York City, the trio acquired drummer Vinny Cimino and began playing out at area clubs, building a following with their off-kilter stage act. A self-released effort entitled The Burning Bush Chronicles impressed producer Joe Blaney, who'd worked in the past with the Clash and Soul Asylum. Blaney agreed to helm the Drops' next project, which turned out to be the 1997 EP Nowadays. It seemed like the band was on a roll, until assorted music-industry headaches derailed their momentum for a few years. Undaunted, the Knockout Drops returned with a vengeance in 2002, taking up residence at the N.Y.C. dive Siberia, where they hashed out new material and presided over a coterie of night-owl musicians and artists. A year later the Knockout Drops turned this experience into their debut full-length, Killed by the Lights, which dropped on Circus Clone, the label run by Campion's brother, Billy, aka Vic Thrill. ~ Johnny Loftus