Yesterday, October 13, 2021, Knocked Loose released a surprise EP, A Tear in the Fabric of Life. A narrative effort that follows a man’s reckoning with demons, both of his own making, and those of seemingly of supernatural origin, as he slowly submits to the death’s cold embrace on an isolated country road following a car accident.
The Romans believed that accidental deaths were a form of divine punishment. Some act of retribution by the gods for impure acts and their expression of displeasure with the conduct that the victim exhibited in life. While the most dramatic, and often cited example of the god’s disdain for an individual centered around lightning strikes, any incidental death that was not the product of illness or war was seen as a cosmic judgment served upon the unfortunate fallen.
While such beliefs are less common today, a chaotic accident will still leave a victim feeling as those they have been punished. Either for their own stupidity, carelessness, or for simply having bad luck- a tumultuous turn of events like a car accident will leave its victims and their families frantically retracing their steps in a futile attempt to unravel the flow of time and pinpoint the moment when things could have gone differently. When a different course of action could have avoided tragedy. When a person’s foolishness or full heartiness could have been corrected and the iron hand of fate stayed. There is no reversing the course of time though, and no undoing what has transpired There is only a bottomless well of self-doubt and blame. An endless freefall of self-torture that leads to self-annihilation.
A Tear in the Fabric of Life was originally intended to be a departure for the band and a breaking of new artistic grounds. It was meant to be an album that was written and performed outside of the band’s lived experience. However, as lead vocalist and chief songwriter, Bryan Garris explained to Stereogum, they ended up putting more of themselves into the album than they expected to:
“Lyrically this story ended up being much more personal than we initially intended. We started with the idea to tell a fictional story but throughout the process, I found ways to incorporate real feelings of loss and mourning, as well as anger and self doubt.”
Sonically, A Tear in the Fabric of Life is every bit as tight, brutal, and concussive as their 2019 LP A Different Shade Of Blue. While in places, it feels like they’ve their attempting to steal and usurp the aesthetic crown of fellow hardcore Kings of the Hill Code Orange, their dynamic presentation of cacophony is still largely the product of an inward-facing, and somewhat antagonistic, interrogation of their own thoughts, feelings, and observations- in other words, the album is still thoroughly Knocked Loose.
Buy and stream A Tear In The Fabric of Life via Bandcamp below: