Knocked Loose made enough waves with their debut album, 2016’s ‘Laugh Tracks’, but with many similar-sounding bands getting considerable traction since that first dropped, the timing now seems ripe.
On their second full-length album, ‘A Different Shade Of Blue’, some of their competition could be given a serious lesson.
With no time to make ourselves comfortable, opener ‘Belleville’ immediately punishes us with the band’s bludgeoning, hard-hitting metallic hardcore. This track features a number of mosh calls, and there’s many peppered across the album that will make you fight the urge to spin-kick.
Lead vocalist Bryan Garris‘ high-pitched shriek may be a bit much for some, but it means you won’t be ignoring this record (also, it’s a welcome counterpoint to the macho growling that feels all too familiar for this type of music). The back-up death growls also help to offer some counterbalance.
‘Trapped In The Grasp Of Memory’ features a menacing breakdown, and ‘A Serpent’s Touch’ continues the assault, with Emma Boster‘s (of Dying Wish) guest appearance helping to ignite the savage breakdown. This record is certainly gnarly, but if you look under the surface there’s more intricacies than it seems; the tempos and groove are changed up more frequently than you might expect.
‘Mistakes Like Fractures’ serves as yet another highlight. Much of this album is Knocked Loose doing what they do best; they reach for some more groove-metal leanings, which gives the album that bit more flavour and edge. ‘In The Walls’ is arguably the strongest track, and its breakdown midway through the song will ensure complete carnage at a live show.
Still, another important thing is that, in spite of the lyrics on this album, this record has a sense of fun too. ‘Forget Your Name’ continues in this vain, and contains the unmistakable shout of Every Time I Die‘s own Keith Buckley, which again helps to incite mayhem.
The double-time intensity of ‘Misguided Son’ helps to avoid the archetypal slow-burning-closing-track pitfall, and the ante is certainly kept up all the way. Ending with the lyrics “I would rather die than be like you”, the song serves a venomous statement of intent.
Sometimes you feel that half an hour is all you need for an album like this. Nearing 40 minutes long, this maybe could do with being a little on the shorter side of things, but even if this album largely stays at the same dynamic all the way through, it rarely lets up from its immediate and crushing onslaught.
If you thought metallic hardcore needed some shaking up, ‘A Different Shade Of Blue’ does just that.