HomeReviewReview: “A Different Shade Of Blue” by Knocked Loose
23rd August 2019
Review: “A Different Shade Of Blue” by Knocked Loose
Oldham County Kentucky Metallic Hardcore crew Knocked Loose have been on a stratospheric rise over the last couple of years touring the Globe several times over following the huge success of 2016’s “Laugh Tracks”. Having issued a three track EP including new song “Mistakes Like Fractures” from photographed recording sessions with the legendary Will Putney and subsequently “…and I Still Wander South”, both of which have been heard live, the sound of the new album could be one of the most anticipated ones of the year.
From the thunderous groove of “Belleville” which has some Slayer inspired chord progressions that shift like the sands of the Gobi desert and a gutteral roar from Bryan Garris, there is a continuation of the sound that “Laugh Tracks” had. Will Putney has made everything sound clean and crisp with the guitars getting that extra punch and the bass delivering a solid back end. The lyrics are dark given the bands success “I will hide from the spotlights, I will stay in the dark, I will never finish what I never start” being a fine example. The instant two step ability of the opening riff of “Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory” is masterful and the following Hardcore Punk bassline into breakdown injects a sense of fun into a song full of menacing dark atmosphere and lyrically sickening tensions. Garris reaches a gutteral low in the unclean vocals that we’ve not witnessed previously and steps away from his usual bark giving the vocals some extra bite. There are also some new elements coming into the mix which add a certain amount of intrigue. Emma Boster of Dying Wish adds guest vocals to “A Serpent’s Touch” which kicks hard from the start while also including that bassline only segment of the previous track. It’s a driven cut loaded with stuccato riffage and tension filled lead flourishes, energetic and aggressive while a huge pick slide is a serious moment. Boster’s vocal is savagely brutal akin to a meteorite impact on the Earth. The riffs of “By The Grave” smash hard with a slower groove tempo while the anxiety and tension that flows through the entire album keeps everything neatly interweaved. The monsterously big production shines. Riffs slam into each other with the heaviness of Dying Fetus and there is a sense that they could be as important as Integrity to the scene as a whole.
A bone crushing beating of a track “In The Walls” stomps through tempo shifts with each change bringing something new to the plate, like it’s being washed up by the tide. Well crafted rythmic chugs highlighted by eerie moments of higher pitched guitar tones that flood the senses with growing tensions. Closing the track with a news report sample of a family homicide just adds to to dark gravity of the song. “Guided By The Moon” has a long and epic build into the opening lyrics before an atmospheric spoken word section that adds a haunting quality. What’s interesting there is the spoken word then goes on to be the backing vocal of the following barked scream. “I have a bone to pick with Death, he still follows me around” is just an epic lyric. This cut is also the one that contains the title of the album itself, though it probably wouldn’t be a single. “Mistakes Like Fractures” launches us into those classic Metallic Hardcore elements with chugs, squeals and feedback in plentiful supply. “I followed the rabbit and I found my f***ing ending”. There is a certain amount of the “Pop Culture” vibe injected into the track as it climbs and falls, it’s trouble with God a concept we’ve heard before from Garris lyrically. This time out it’s done with style. Touring together on many occasion, getting Keith Buckley of Everytime I Die to appear on this album shouldn’t have been a challenge in any respect. What we get in “Forget Your Name” is a tune with a number of Knocked Loose takes on Everytime I Die stylings while also staying true to their own sound. The cut sounds fresh and while Buckley only appears briefly, it’s the fact he’s given them an excuse to experiment that makes the track.
Thundering in after a classic film sample “Road 23” kicks in with blast beats and some of the heaviest riffs on the album. Its galloping drum patterns and darkly narasitic lyrics point to the inner struggle of a broken relationship “I’d rather spend my time in hell, than chained to misery”. What’s interesting about this one is the lyrics and delivery are passionate and almost storytelling rather than the woe is me of Nu-Metal introspection. It makes them far more engaging after the headbanging has stopped. Second single “…And Still I Wander South” is an equally punishingly good affair. It’s swirling guitars pile breakdowns upon breakdowns with the cleaner Metallica esq tone bridge being a surprise moment but also meaning that the heavier kick back has a more brutal crush. It’s use of atmospheres and futility isn’t something we’ve heard on previous material and is done phenomenally well. Stepping up the energy and pace with “Denied By Fate” features a solid “GO!” as things get going with enough with the scathingly pained vocal, “betrayed by the promise of death” indeed. Guitarist Cole Crutchfield and drummer Kevin Kaine have put their collective heads together to create an album of relentless and brutally spectacular and complex rythmic changes any Metalhead could hope for. The final breakdown may sound like it’s pinned on but it’s absolute class. “Misguided Son” brings things to a closing crescendo with its pair of voices opposing each other to start fires from the inside. A whirlpool of guitars pull you down to the black depths and crush you like a ship by sea beasts of mythical tales of old. Everything has stepped up a notch since “Laugh Tracks” and that’s in no small part due to Will Putney and the bands collective touring experience [9/10]
Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory
A Serpents Touch (Ft. Emma Boster Dying Wish)
By The Grave
In The Walls
Guided By The Moon
Mistakes Like Fractures
Forget Your Name (Ft. Keith Buckley of Everytime I Die)
…And Still I Wander South
Denied By Fate
“A Different Shade Of Blue” by Knocked Loose is out now via Pure Noise Records