WORDS: Jordan Bradley

As the follow-up to their genre-evolving album A Different Shade of Blue, Knocked Loose’s You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To is as playful as it is punchy.

Delivering the crunchy riffs that made its predecessor such an effective record; while also standing as a progression of the band’s heavy identity, You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To is a collection of songs that not only show Knocked Loose are as good as ever, but that they’re also set on getting better with every scream.

Fans will find the album’s pulsing guitar and guttural shrieks a pleasant welcome back into the band’s world. From the sheer explosivity of the opener, ‘Thirst’, to the high-stakes power of ‘Moss Covers All’, it quickly acclimates listeners to the muscle and might of Knocked Loose by employing the same traits that made their 2019 record such a hit. Bone-crunching breakdowns combine with Bryan Garris’s piercing vocals to remind us of what we’ve been missing for the last five years.

But what makes the album such an achievement is its amalgamation of old and new: the Knocked Loose formula is bottled and built upon to push the band’s sound in new, intriguing directions. Experimentations in tempo and instrumentation turn tracks like ‘Piece By Piece’ and ‘Blinding Faith’ into automatic favourites. These songs slow themselves, allowing raw, thumping drum beats and electric guitar chords to supply splashes of nuance to the metal sound, before crashing back into the rhythmic haven of pulsating headbanging.

A track that encapsulates this essence of innovation is ‘Take Me Home’. Funky drums and a cool, hypnotic central riff establish a new style that not only works for the band’s established flair, but also frames the familiar, emphatic vocals in a way that they can appreciated anew. The best moment is when the lyrics cut out right before the drop of the breakdown, mimicking the effect of a bomb having gone off, silencing everything before the band’s tsunami wave of sound ensues.

Photo: Cahil Bhanji Photo

What can’t be overlooked are the album’s guest features. Both refreshing and palatable to the Knocked Loose sound, the appearances of both Poppy and Chris Motionless give their respective tracks flavours of contrast and coalescence that feel like they were always meant to be. On ‘Suffocate’, Poppy’s gentle voice provides a steady gravity to the band’s rapid motion, and when she joins in the with the screaming, it’s a testament to two great vocalists giving it their all. Chris Motionless, on the other hand, injects ‘Slaughterhouse 2’ with a heavy, guttural vocal that brings a haunting presence to the track, translating the band’s vicious vigour into a delicious slasher movie for the ears.

Ultimately, what makes You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To a success is its musicality. On a record that once again displays the range and depths of heavy rock, Knocked Loose have crafted ten songs that speak to a spectrum of emotions with splicing lyrics and inventive instrumentals. The growth and shift of ‘Don’t Reach For Me’ joins the hollow percussion and classic-metal guitar of ‘The Calm That Keeps You Awake’ to produce an album that feels not only emotionally layered and profound, but communicative to the primal instinct to mosh, party, and sing. The album’s finale, ‘Sit and Mourn’, perhaps speaks to this idea best: a crescendo of volume that is as nuanced and technical as it is simply awesome. With this track and the nine that precede it, Knocked Loose let the music speak for itself, and the message is clear: the future for this band is very, very bright.

Rating: 5/5

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