Review: “Pop Culture” EP by Knocked Loose

Every band starts somewhere and Oldham County’s Metal tinged Beatdown Hardcore crew Knocked Loose, one of the bands of the moment with their colossal album “Laugh Tracks” are no different. Back in 2014 frontman Bryan Garris, Guitarists Isaac Hale and Cole Crutchfield alongside bassist Kevin Otten and drummer Pac Sun were most likely jamming in a garage or basement somewhere like every other wannabe World touring band. After the release of this, their debut EP, the band have gone from strength to strength with fans among their peers. Here is where is all began.

Opening with a sub 3 minute dark humour infused, socially aware anti-church statement in “The Gospel”, the band make headway with bouncy hardcore guitar chugs and squeals that deliver the spin kick friendly mosh pit fodder that might not be technically stand out, but is about as fun as it gets. Lyrically the song isn’t about a disbelief in God, but about the way the church and it’s congregation behaves. “Separate” then piles in similar fashion with Garris barking “click-click-boom” before barking through a throat shedding socially aware lyric about life below the cracks. The deliberate slow down towards the latter third of the song is the bands first foray into beatdown and features a guest spot from¬†Carson Hudson. “Manipulator II” takes things to a new level with Hatebreed inspired slow-fast one-two punch guitar pace attack against a call and response vocal. The second track to clock in at 2 minutes 20 seconds, should give you an idea that the band are never going to write a 12 minute song. Indeed the EP as a whole clocks in shy of 13 minutes and what you get is 13 minutes of bite.

Bryan Garris is very much the barking dog from the cover art, delivering his message against the sonic wall of hardcore guitars.¬† “Small Victories” is the shortest track on the EP at 1 minute 52 seconds, a punch in the face from the band as Garris describes himself as a wildcard with anxiety that gives him the shakes. It’s a personal as it comes. “All My Friends” then closes things with slow build into a whirlwind of riffs and tornado of bass drum footwork that demonstrate where the band would go with their next album “Laugh Tracks”. The bouncy riffs of the post chorus are set against the lyrics that cover depression and anxiety while also featuring the trademark laughter that closes out the bands next release. If you’re looking for an EP that delivers heavy, driven riffage, together with vocals that cover subjects ranging from atheism to suppressing personal insecurities then you found it. Chances are, you’re already a fan. [8/10]

Track listing

  1. “The Gospel”
  2. “Separate”
  3. “Manipulator II”
  4. “Small Victories”
  5. “All My Friends”

“Pop Culture” is available via Little Heart Records.

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