The boys from Oldham County are certainly one of the next big things in hardcore. It was hard to avoid them with my media feed filled to the brim with the teasers for their debut album Laugh Tracks. I was instantly part of the hype waiting for Knocked Loose to unleash their debut offering on the world.
Knocked Loose clearly drift between the world of genres, pulling in a mass amount melodic and beatdown hardcore into a single album. Add a hefty amount of breakdowns and you get a sound that is familiar yet new. There will be some people who may see the sheer number of breakdowns as excessive but it is hardcore. We bloody love a good breakdown. It’s like saying ‘there’s too much tremolo picking in that black metal album’ or ‘that pop-punk chorus was far to catchy’. Tracks like Oblivions Peak show that the breakdowns are cemented within each song and not just thrown in for the sake of it. Yes some of these sections do drag on a bit. However it never gets boring due to the variety of styles, as you have the more traditional chuggy breakdowns alongside some head wrenching groove inspired ones.
Of course it is not all arm flailing breakdowns. Linking them are some two stepping, bouncy heavy riffs. Blood Will Have Blood proves the band can lay down the riffage as well as the beatdown with its numerous melodies and licks. Vocalist Bryan Garris does an exceptional job. He has a shout that is reminiscent of Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die, full of raw grit. It goes alongside the bridge of No More Heroes to build up tension to give the dive into the breakdown more impact.
I’m so glad to see a new band on the scene deliver such a brilliant debut album. It is aggressive from start to finish, choc full with enough breakdowns to keep you spinning kick till the end of days. Laugh Tracks earns a 8/10 for a sensational first offering. Let’s hope this album is just the beginning!