As the descent of these uncomforting splashes of blackened blue streaks flares across the fading sky, A Different Shade of Blue is the second studio record coming from Kentucky outfit Knocked Loose. Through their ventures with Pure Noise Records, Knocked Loose quickly becomes this overarching blend of mind-bending hardcore that can shatter steel through their punishing sound.
Opening with the first spin-kick of “Belleville” where material fades to become nothing but primal rage. The stuttering guitar works are sinister and creep low while the percussion breaks bone with ease. It is a heartfelt connection to the animalistic ability that transposes any sensibility to negotiate, Knocked Loose is in immaculate control. It all starts with Bryan Garris who is the executioner MC that combines forces with Isaac Hale and Cole Crutchfield on the guitar works. Often times the bass in hardcore is vital to creating a solid backbone where the other instruments can flourish, instead, Kevin Otten uses the bass as if it was a lead guitar that punches through that stigma. The final member, Pac Sun is the uncontrollable fury on the percussion that claps along to the world of sound around him. As Knocked Loose high-steps over heads in the crowd, A Different Shade of Blue opens new pits with a pendulum.
It is truly where the track, “Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory” where Knocked Loose shakes their opening skin and emerges as this concurrent threat of hardcore hell. The feedback on the guitars engulfs the ears as this almost unbearable screech to the point where it invokes a sense of outburst. Knocked Loose acts as a swarm of crows that block out the sun where the listener is left to their own devices as the train derails and an understandable sequence is instead abandoned for a sporadic nature of grinding pressure.
This pressure is necessary and acts as the theme of A Different Shade of Blue. This rushed and often frantic style is by no means friendly but is approachable for the way that it can develop hardcore tendencies as a forerunner. “In The Walls” comes to mind as the breakdown of the track is a gasoline-filled pit of chaos. As the tension becomes increasingly noticeable, Knocked Loose decides to burn off these chains with inhuman screams and an orchestra of razor wire. Ultimately, they create a scene where nothing joyous can live or grow, but the image is perfect for their shadowy album art which allows little light into the record.
To fall into the hands of a psychopath seems unwarranted, but A Different Shade of Blue is the perfect grasp. They show complete horror for the 38-minute record and then dissipate into their backrooms with little-to-no love. Knocked Loose works under the guise of nightfall, attacking and then disappearing with one final elbow strike to end the attack.