Photography + Album Review: Knocked Loose

Posted: by The Editor

In an interview with the podcast The Downbeat Brian Garris, lead singer of Knocked Loose, told the story of the band’s third LP title, You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To. Brian says that a woman sitting next to him on a plane was talking to him during a turbulent flight and casually uttered the words, “You won’t go before you’re supposed to.” Those seven words are exactly what this album is about. Since its release, I have listened to it at least once a day, everyday. It won’t leave my ears before it’s supposed to. The entire album is a fiery hell-scape of sound.

The first track “The Thirst” hits you like a ton of bricks. With the first couple of seconds of the track just being a ringing of bells, the safety net of just a singular sound gets broken by Brian Garris’ scream and a wall of instrumentals. The first words “Powered by the thirst” break the wall of sound and continue into a powerful first track about the strong desire for comfort and change. The final lyrics end with “I want to start again / I can almost taste it,” which sets the tone for the rest of the LP. Brian’s scream and the whole band’s fury of sound at the beginning of “The Thirst” don’t stop throughout the entire LP. “Piece by Piece,” “Suffocate,” and “Don’t Reach For Me” all beautifully compliment each other as they transition from track to track. However, a major standout is Poppy’s feature on “Suffocate.” The track’s lyrical themes are about a controlling relationship and trying to escape. I really enjoyed the dynamic Brian and Poppy have together on this track. Their screams play off of each other in this painful duality that really ties the lyrical themes together. And of course, we cannot forget the reggaeton breakdown from Kevin Kaine in the middle of the track. Truly unexpected, but a really fun nod to the genre.

Another standout track for me was “Take Me Home,” in my opinion a sleeper hit of the LP. The track is a cry for help to take them out of the darkness. I think that this track is truly underrated in the scope of the LP. The creepy intro of the guitars followed by the deep bass riff and drum parts create this horror-movie-esque atmosphere. The guitar picking is eerie and contagious, creating a looming effect like something is always there itching away at you. The lyrics in the middle of the track, “I’m not as strong as I thought I was” followed by a repeated “take me home now” are a heart-wrenching cry of defeat and for help, which at this point on the LP feels appropriate. We’ve had five non-stop gut-punching tracks with all different themes around escape and pain, so to have “Take Me Home” placed almost in the center of the LP feels exactly right. We do want to be taken home, we do feel defeated by the amount of pain and suffering that is happening thematically and lyrically throughout this record. This track grounds the LP and almost allows for us to take a little cry-break before heading into the second leg of the LP.

With high anticipation, we are gifted with “Slaughterhouse 2,” a follow-up track to the track “Slaughterhouse” by Motionless in White, featuring Brian Garris. Now, it’s Knocked Loose’s turn, and they brought Chris Motionless to absolutely throw down on the track. Same themes as the first track, but now tinged with Knocked Loose’s approach, the track delivered, and we will certainly not be surviving the slaughterhouse. The entire second leg of the record is again blaring with sound. It’s a non-stop feast for the ears. The following track “The Calm That Keeps You Awake” takes on a lot of creativity with the drums section, and grooves its way all throughout the track. Next up, “Blinding Faith,” previously released as a single, just demolished my eardrums when I first listened to it. The three-way call-out, “Bend the knee / son of god,” closed by Brian’s gutteral scream, is perfection. For a track that is all about denying the church and Christianity, it rips it to shreds. Closed out by “Sit & Mourn,” again, an eerie and haunting track, the LP takes its final rest with a dramatic breakdown at the end of the track.

Overall, this LP is 27 minutes and 33 seconds of pure sonic explosion. It’s not a palatable experience for all, but for those who are a fan of this genre, and especially Knocked Loose, you will not be disappointed. I was lucky enough to catch the band on their latest tour with Speed, Loathe, and Show Me The Body on night two of their NYC shows. Although I didn’t catch all of Speed’s set, what they showcased was hardcore at it’s finest. Traditional riffs and anger imported from Australia, they’re ones to watch. Next was Loathe, a Liverpool-based band, who’s sound borrows from hardcore with it’s own flair of beats in a nuanced way. Finally, Show Me The Body, an unconventional, yet conventional, trio from Brooklyn, who’s music continue to grow and develop with time.

Knocked Loose played an insane set. Opening with just an L.E.D. cross that lit up behind a giant beige sheet that fell to the ground at the beginning of “Blinding Faith,” I knew that this show was going to be bonkers. The crowd was a sea of crowd-surfers and pit-pushers alike. Playing from their entire discography, the band elevated their performance since I last saw them in 2019. The stage was set like a church, with a giant cross in the back, trees, and screens mimicking stain-glass windows. The atmosphere of the stage and the band’s presence was a spectacle. From the “arf arf” call-out in “Counting Worms” to “Knocked Loose motherfucker” in “Deep in the Willow,” every single person was screaming and head-banging to nearly every single song. It was an incredible performance and amazing experience.

Photos and Words by Sarah Knoll

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great Phenomenal

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