Knocked Loose

Knocked Loose have become one of the most divisive bands in the last few years. ...
Knocked Loose : Live
Knocked Loose : Live

Knocked Loose have become one of the most divisive bands in the last few years. A metalcore outfit who’ve broken out of the mould, they are a seemingly unlikely success. But this band are so much more than just pure noise. The quintet, hailing from Louisville Kentucky, played two nights at New York’s twin venues, Brooklyn Steel and Terminal 5. QRO was lucky enough to get a peek into the closing night (QRO venue review), a lucrative ticket to a set of sold-out nights.

The bands growth over the past eleven years has been exponential. This show was a clear indicator of the depth of their growth. Seldom do bands of this genre reach levels of this growth, but their success is no accident. There is fine detailing in the cultivation of their sound. A manufactured depth of raw lyricism and musicality which present life’s darkest brutality. This was smattered all over their performance, celebrating their recent release You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To. Released just earlier in May, this album has received widespread acclaim. It certainly feels like a celebration – an album that has been in the works for five years, but aptly sounds like an organic fermentation of sounds that define a new generation of metalcore fans.

Their last release, “A Tear in the Fabric of Life” documents themes of sex, death, grief and suicide, but this is seemingly thematic for Knocked Loose. This hits home for those coming of age with a newly grief-informed generation. Those who have formatively lived through some of the hardest worldwide events in recent times, namely the last five years. What I refer to could be picked out of a hat – so when an artist like Knocked Loose reach a level like this one (second only to Taylor Swift in recent vinyl charts), it can only be indicative of the levels of distain and pain at today’s core. A voice of a generation.

It’s extremely clear at this show how needed a band like Knocked Loose are. The band are focused, powerful – the audience was held captive in the palm of lead singer Bryan Garris’ hand, a trust that a cathartic crowd respond with blood and gruel. The band encouraged this – inciting a certain brand of violence, but somehow logically within the safety of hardcore – a niche community to which inversely one has each other’s backs. Therein lies a dichotomy of the band – an acknowledgment of the brutality of life and taking it for sex and violence, whilst being held by it too.

Bryan Garris

The band played for a little over an hour – and it is an impressive feat for fan and band alike. As with any true subsect of music community, it is driven by the energy of fans and bands arguably in equal measure.

Knocked Loose have taken things to the next level visually too – a white backdrop falling as the band kicked off, a tight set of strobes and neon cross adorn the stage, whilst a set of sprawling willow trees, an icon of the new album cultivate an entire universe of feeling, whereas the band’s performance give life.

The group have done well to curate visuals to fit their music throughout their career. But at this level, taken to stage, there is an element of Alice stepping into Wonderland, but the reality through the looking glass is of the bleak reality of life’s hardship. But one must realise that in art and music, a realism in facing reality equips us with tools in holding that same severity of in the palm of our own hands. It allows for us to process and live past the discomfort of life. Perhaps this is an element of their divisiveness – Knocked Loose double down in their presentation in their music and lyricism giving little room for comfort – but it must be recognized the joy lies in the release.

This was audibly heard in fan favorite “Counting Worms”. “I wrote a song about getting better / It’s a feeling I can’t remember.” The crowd clung to every word – despite the band cultivating a presence on stage the crowd swell and get lost in one another, as if it is an entire other entity. It is sometimes with cost – there are stories of not just bloody noses at their shows but broken bones. It’s easy to see why. This band is not for the faint hearted, but perhaps neither is life. Seemingly this is known – there is only commitment to this band, by the band and for them too.

Knocked Loose

The band played a majority of material from their latest release. It is hard to fathom the album is but weeks old when it is clearly known intimately. Lead single “Suffocate” doubled as a lead performance for the show – an affective fury from Garris coaxed the crowd to respond in the same ilk. Although the release features Poppy, the performance lacked nothing, with a cohesive performance from the band back to front. Guitarist Hale was more explicit in encouraging pushing and shoving – but the crowd knew what’s on at the show, just as they knew the album. The venue heaved back to front.

Lead singer of support band Loathe also joined for “Billy No Mates”, from 2016 release Laugh Tracks. It’s clear that their consistency in their music has paid – their wall of sound had no near misses this night. It was a cultivation of refinement in their artistry and commitment to finetuning, both on record and on stage.

Knocked Loose’s “Wall of Death” at Terminal 5 in New York, NY on May 31st, 2024:

It would not be a Knocked Loose show without the infamous “Wall of Death”. During “Everything is Quiet Now” the crowd were encouraged to separate and slam into each other – causing a curious minds and viral sensationalism. It was exactly what it says on the tin – a hot, sweaty, brutal mess. In equal measure, the band, a clear indicator of these times, also equal their well-deserved bewitching success. It is clear the road has not been without trials and tribulations, for fans or the band – their success in holding pain in their palms is nothing short of master performance, just as their show is.

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