Knocked Loose : You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To

Avatar photo
Knocked Loose You Won't Go Before You're Supposed To

If you were unlucky enough to be born on this side of the political careers of Thatcher and Reagan, you are probably all too familiar with the suggestion that one might easily cobble together enough money to buy a house if one only started making coffee at home, rather than buying it from a coffee shop. Today, I seek to amend this patronizing nonsense with something genuinely useful; why not try saving money on coffee altogether by just listening to Knocked Loose’s latest record, You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To, immediately after you wake up? It’s guaranteed to jolt you immediately out of your droopy, somnolent haze (and quite possibly into a panic attack).

“Thirst,” the album’s opening track, is shockingly intense even by Knocked Loose’s standards, and does a good job of signaling exactly what transpires in the subsequent 25 minutes. Thrashier, meaner, and less reliant on (though not entirely free from) the notion that a repetitive chug-chug-chugging is the best way to invigorate their listener, You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To feels, in some ways, like the sort of album that Knocked Loose have always been aiming for. It’s one in which Bryan Garris’ wretchedly sincere, confessional vocals, blurted out of him in a style half-scream, half-warble, are finally carried by a sonic brutality befitting of his anguish. Which is to say that if the quality of Knocked Loose’s previous outings have hit a ceiling by dint of sounding like fairly standard deathcore angst (which isn’t the same as being bad deathcore angst), this new release employs a level of musicianship that expands their emotional range beyond that, into something capable of feeling genuinely unhinged and a little bit frightening.

You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To is an exercise in maintaining a belligerently fierce balls-to-the-wall mania for all of its 27-minute runtime, which is a feat far easier said than done; to keep up such a consistent level of sonic savagery is to dance on a knife’s edge. Too little and it’s just not heavy enough; too much, and you run the risk of blanketing the listener in a wall of harsh, white noise that’s incapable of evoking much more than numbness. Some seriously skillful songwriting needs to be in play to stop the heaviness becoming impenetrable, and most of the time, the band succeed—not so much by rewriting the rulebook as much as by reminding us that the right tropes, when they’re done well, sound awesome. Opening “Suffocate,” for example, by screeching the song title over the thunderous thumping of syncopated drums and gritty guitar is hardly novel, but damn if it doesn’t just sound great. The song’s breakdown, too, helps keep the record’s oppressive heaviness fresh and enlivening by setting it to a groovy dance beat more at home with reggaeton than hardcore, a welcome outcome of the band’s collaboration with pop-metal singer Poppy, who features on the track. “Take Me Home,” and its opening track, “Moss Covers All,” give the record some essential breathing space, drawing back momentarily on the volume if not the emotional potency to create a bleak tension that makes the forthcoming crushing, squealing breakdowns all the more powerful.

Not every attempt at heaviness feels quite earned. Smattered throughout is a little too much emphasis on the sort of one-note chug-chug style riffage that leaves us with the impression of a band who think just slamming on their instruments hard enough—rather than actually writing nasty, heavy-sounding riffs and breakdowns, which they are demonstrably capable of—is the best way to get their audience moving. Which is a shame, considering how terrifying the band can sound when they really want to—and while it’s only a minor quibble, it does, perhaps, mean that Knocked Loose aren’t quite ready to be a substitute for your morning coffee just yet.

Label: Pure Noise

Year: 2024

Similar Albums:

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top