Kentucky natives Knocked Loose left no stone unturned on their second full length album, A Different Shade Of Blue. Filled with everything you’d expect from a KL release (aside from barking), the album is twelve tracks of brutality with more tempo changes than ever before. Down-tuned chugs, discordant shrieks, enough fight-riffs for the whole family, and lots of low and slow breakdowns set the pace for this new record. Fans of their Pop Culture EP may find themselves liking this album more than their previous full-length, Laugh Tracks, because it’s darker, heavier, and combines elements of all their previous material. It’s fair to say, Knocked Loose is becoming a true household name in the realms of hardcore and metal.
With the release of their new album comes a newfound wave of mainstream success. They’re embarking on bigger and better tours than before, accumulating more die-hard fans, and their new CD was even available at Target for purchase. That’s quite a feat for a metal-core band that’s so aggressive and so new in their musical career. A Different Shade Of Blue had a lot of hype to live up to after their last record, and it delivered. Vocalists Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die/The Damned Things) and Emma Boster (Dying Wish) were featured on the new album, and added a nice break from the timbre of Bryan Garris’s screams. Though sporadic and transitionally impaired, the songs groove and fit a lot of action into such a short amount of time. There’s even a few riffs that draw influence from Pantera and more classic acts of metal’s history. If you’re a fan of structure and repetition, then this album may not be for you; but if you’re the kind of person who likes jumping from one section to the next with brutal execution and almost no transition to keep the song tethered, then this is right on target. Though the songs bounce around a lot, it’s enough to keep even the most ADD listeners interested. It doesn’t slow down, doesn’t let up, and doesn’t disappoint.
Though the tracks can blend together a bit, there’s enough variety to let certain songs rise to the top. Two previously released singles, “Mistakes Like Fractures” and “… And Still I Wander South” definitely hold their own on the album. Tracks like “Belleville” and “In The Walls” are some of the heavier tracks that’ll be sure to have you white-knuckling your steering wheel. “Forget Your Name” stands out quite a bit because of its swung guitar riff and killer guest vocal spot, and “Serpent’s Touch” is one of the more groovy songs on the album that’s constantly changing pace. Listening to twelve songs that are this massive and unrelenting can be exhausting, but if you’re up to the challenge it’s worth it.
Knocked Loose are at the forefront of the modern metal-core revival. Alongside bands like Sanction, Inclination, Vein, and more, KL are bringing elements from metal-core and hardcore bands of the 90’s and early 2000’s to their overtly aggressive sound. Though reminiscent of bands like Earth Crisis and Botch, KL stumble onto something new in A Different Shade Of Blue. The sound is their own, and this album doesn’t give the listener a break. It’s over a half hour of constant attack with enough twists and turns to keep it moving. One thing’s for sure, if you came here looking for something heavy you’re going to get it. Play this album on repeat and bring on the mosh.