Let’s take a minute and give a proper shout out to the lovely state of Kentucky because despite not being typically known for its extreme music scene it is somehow home to the bruisers in Knocked Loose. Not familiar with Knocked Loose? Well, just know that in the span of two LPs and a handful of splits and EPs they’ve secured themselves a plum spot in the modern Hardcore pecking order. Let’s skip the formalities, A Different Shade of Blue (Pure Noise) is only going to further entrench these gentlemen into the hearts of slam dancers and tough guys alike.
You see, what Knocked Loose excels at is creating the type of ligament tearing, kneecap busting Metallic Hardcore sounds we’ve come to associate with primarily with east coast hubs like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey or New York. On ‘Belleville’ and ‘A Serpent’s Touch’ these young Kentuckians crack so hard you’d think they had gained access to Martyr A.D.‘s secret riff and breakdown stash that had been neatly stored under the Area 51 floorboards. ‘Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory’ follows the Bury Your Dead modus operandi in which any or every part of your song can effectively serve as a breakdown.
And yes, I’m a New Yorker who’s been living outside of Boston for the better part of fifteen years, I honestly admit that I am an easy mark when it comes to breakdowns and chugging guitar riffs. It’s out there in the open now. It’s why I don’t mind when ‘…And Still I Wander South’ starts slightly less intense and combines even legitimate quiet moments with a beatdown that’s thicker than all of North America’s student debt combined. Tell me that the gurgling low-end that rises and meets the guitar maelstrom on ‘Forget Your Name’ doesn’t get the hair on the back of your neck standing in ovation. Oh, and it also features a verse from Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die fame just for fun.
So, in addition to a derby that is both decadent and depraved, fried chicken, Hunter S. Thompson, and college hoops, we can also add hardcore to Kentucky’s reputation.
9 / 10