Knocked Loose – A Different Shade of Blue
Released: August 23rd, 2019
Brian Garris // Vocals
Isaac Hale // Guitar
Cole Crutchfield // Guitar
Kevin Otten // Bass
Kevin Kaine // Drums
Southern USA hardcore/punk band Knocked Loose have been around the world and back since the release of their debut album, Laugh Tracks in 2016, spreading their brand of hardcore in dive bars, music venues and festival pits everywhere (including Australia’s own UNIFY Gathering in 2018). The guys are a force to be reckoned with in the hardcore/metal arena, and on their second album release on Pure Noise Records, A Different Shade of Blue, Knocked Loose are taking it a step further by gauging tastes from every kind of heavy metal style in existence.
Their sophomore release begins with ‘Belleville’, which sees vocalist Brian Garris write about pain and emotion on a whole new level that we haven’t yet seen before. This kind of emotion is continued on ‘Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory’ and accompanied by those hardcore/punk riffs we are so familiar with from the band’s previous work. While this track will resonate with many Knocked Loose fans, it also feels like the band are on a darker path here. ‘A Serpent’s Touch’ is heavy as fuck, fuelled by intense anger and is possibly one of the more stronger tracks on this record. Rounding out this track is Emma Boster (of US metal/hardcore band Dying Wish), who just adds to the epicness of this song.
Three songs in, and we can already sense that Knocked Loose are venturing into heavier, more metal arenas, but also still staying relevant for the contemporary hardcore/metal audience. ‘By the Grave’ sees the band play their more familiar hardcore/metal riffs aligned with some pretty heavy as fuck vocals, somewhat similar to what we’ve heard from many upcoming metal bands play with this year. Garris is more personal in his lyric writing on this album, and ‘In the Walls’ sees his anger and frustration unleashed and supported by the rest of the band’s hardcore breakdowns. ‘Guided By the Moon’ almost felt a bit like Northlane territory here, with Slayer-like riffs. It’s quite different, and makes the band appeal to a wider metal audience.
What I’ve always enjoyed about Knocked Loose is their fast-paced energy throughout many of their songs, and their ability to spark energetic live sets for their fans. ‘Mistakes Like Fractures’ is a fine example of this, with high-energy riffs and lyrics that’ll have the fans screaming right back at the band. The boys receive some help from Every Time I Die/The Damned Things legend, Keith Buckley, on ‘Forget Your Name’ and this is a huge track and definitely a stand-out on the album. ‘Road 23’, standing at just under two-and-a-half minutes, is a quick high-energy fix of heavy metal breakdowns.
The band’s lead single from the album, ‘..And I Still Wander South’ has been a great introduction into the next chapter of Knocked Loose these past few months. It’s heavy as all fuck, and oozes screamable lyrics that are so relatable to many. ‘Denied By Fate’ gives us an insane amount of hardcore/metal riffs, and the energy on this song can instantly be felt. The final track ‘Misguided Son’ is dark, fuelled by anger, and feels very progressive for the band.
While Knocked Loose have managed to keep their hardcore energy in tight form, A Different Shade of Blue sees the band progressing and advancing into heavier styles of metal. It is their most personal collection of songs yet, with vocalist Brian Garris reaching deep into his senses and out of that comes deep emotion accompanied by some of the heaviest riffs we’ve heard from the band. I couldn’t find many faults on this record, however as progressive an album this was for the band, it didn’t quite feel like an album of the year contender. Overall, I definitely found myself enjoying each track more and more every time I listened.
Knocked Loose – A Different Shade of Blue tracklisting:
- Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory
- A Serpent’s Touch (feat. Emma Boster)
- By The Grave
- In the Walls
- Guided by the Moon
- Mistakes Like Fractures
- Forget Your Name (Feat. Keith Buckley)
- Road 23
- …And I Still Wander South
- Denied By Fate
- Misguided Son