One of our worlds most unlikely success stories of recent times, the question mark overhanging Kentucky quintet Knocked Loose was always whether they were legitimate game changers, or a simple case of right place, right time. The fact that they have grafted for their place however is undeniable, with the band swiftly propelled to the front of the hardcore queue chiefly by displaying a genuine devotion to working their collective bollocks off, playing to anyone and everyone, anywhere in the world. The result of all that hard work, combined with the inevitable pressure that comes with being front-runners, is a simply magnificent second record that blows their debut, Laugh Tracks, out of the water and instantly separates the band from the innumerable chancers that will undoubtedly spring up in their wake.
A Different Shade Of Blue fulfils every expectation and then some. The band’s trademark levels of bowel-threatening heaviness not simply dusted off and reanimated but enhanced, sharpened and bulging with fresh input. Indeed, the dividing line between extreme metal and hardcore is lost in a blur of sheer, unforgiving brutality with the Suicide Silence via Korn attack of ‘A Serpents Touch’ and ‘Forget Your Name’s biblical savagery offering up the sort of breath-snatching deathly power that recalls the hellishly fucked up guttural slam of Devourment. Knocked Loose have refined their sound and in doing so defined themselves in the process. Whilst still resolutely hardcore in spirit and espousing that underground, basement show aesthetic (world class mosh-calls and depth charge breakdowns lurk around every corner), structurally and dynamically they’re multi-flavoured enough to include the flagrant Slayer-worship of ‘Mistakes Like Fractures’ and the slow motion doomcore of ‘Guided By The Moon’. Not once is their foot lifted from the ferocity pedal, and there is not a second which doesn’t throb with boiling point adrenaline. It’s time to face facts: A Different Shade Of Blue is arguably the best hardcore album of 2019, and Knocked Loose are on to something special. Don protective head gear, and brace yourself.
A Different Shade Of Blue is out now on Pure Noise Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Tony Bliss