There’s not really any clear way to overstate just how vicious the new album from Kentucky’s Knocked Loose really is. Called A Different Shade of Blue and out this August, the group’s second full-length album feels like it somehow packs intensity that’s dialed up from their already wild debut album Laugh Tracks that came out a few years back. There is not a single moment on A Different Shade of Blue that’s not packed to the brim with musical (and thematic!) brutality, and the perfectly over-the-top bluntness feels ridiculously refreshing. This album basically immediately proves itself an exhilarating train ride through mayhem, with no stops before crashing into a metaphorical mountain at the end. Once you’re onboard — that’s it, and this band deliver a just stunning amount of confidence and focus in their maniacal musical drilling through hellscapes.
Remarkably, even in the midst of all this vicious metallic hardcore mayhem, Knocked Loose keep their newest record texturally rich. They freely draw from all sorts of stylistic trends, no doubt having thought more about upping the power of their end result than trying to fit into any box. Alongside the foundational thread of wildly heavy hardcore breakdowns, the band whip out everything from vicious metallic textures and backup vocals that approach black metal-type blast beat status to sinister, building atmospherics that pop up at a particularly memorable point on the track “By The Grave.” Whether you’re thrashing, breaking down, or whatever else — Knocked Loose clearly keep the energetic musical fascination going, and it’s great.
The texture the band have packed in here feels emblematic of how well-poised this album seems to really stick. While there’s plenty of wild chaos to go around, this album is clearly not mindless. Vocalist Bryan Garris delivers emotionally pained lyrics in harsh vocal work that’s so energetic that he sounds like he’s truly giving his all while remaining strikingly accessible. It’s hard not to feel emotionally moved right from the very first lyric on the record — the screamed line: “Make me feel!” The album doesn’t just pack some random chaos out there — it’s our chaos, and it quickly gets inside and gets you moving, emotionally at least (but probably physically too).