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

Hardcore favourites Knocked Loose swing for the fences and then some on their incredible, incendiary third album, You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To. Gum shields at the ready...

Album review: Knocked Loose – You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To
Luke Morton

Since the release of their seminal 2021 album GLOW ON, fans and critics alike have been asking, ‘Who are the next Turnstile?’ Not in an immediate sound-alike sense, but who could be the next band to take hardcore’s ever-expanding ‘moment’ to the next level, put heavy music back on the map and – dare we say – even make it cool again? In reality, such a comparison is a moot point, as the next breakthrough band don’t want to be the ‘next’ anything, they want to be the first and the best. And Knocked Loose in 2024 don’t exist in anyone’s shadow; they stand, unopposed, as one of the greatest bands in heavy music right now, armed with the strongest record of their career.

There’s an old adage that suggests that for any alternative act to continue growing, they’ll have to bait the mainstream at some point, soften their edges and even (whisper it) start singing properly. Thankfully, Knocked Loose have taken that notion and punted it squarely into the sun. Speaking to Kerrang! in their recent cover story, guitarist Isaac Hale explained that “sacrificing the heaviness was never an option,” and, “as this band grows, it only gets more uncomfortable and extreme… We want to give listeners some of the craziest stuff they’ve ever heard.” It’s mission well and truly accomplished, with the 10 songs blistering past in 27 minutes of brawling chaos and cacophony.

As the distant chimes and clangs of Thirst fade in, frontman Bryan Garris swings his first haymaker, giving way to a horrific barrage that never lets up, acting as a vicious reminder that Knocked Loose are – and will forever be – one of the hardest bands around. You can practically hear them telling you to fuck off if you thought there’d be an ounce of compromise on offer. Instead, You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To is a claustrophobic collision of chainsaw guitars, jackhammer drums and tar-thick heaviness, pulsating with groove and an almost-industrial crunch because accessibility is for cowards.

Even bringing some friends along for the joyride does nothing to decrease the pressure on the accelerator, as adrenaline and intensity surges into the red zone. Harnessing the power of Poppy for single Suffocate is a masterstroke, pouring another vial of acid into the caustic mix, leaving you – as the name suggests – breathless, clamouring for an unachievable escape from the maelstrom Knocked Loose have created. Similarly, enlisting Chris Motionless for Slaughterhouse 2 – repaying the favour for Motionless’ own Slaughterhouse on 2022’s Scoring The End Of The World – shows not just nous for who are the hottest vocalists in the scene right now, but also who can add actually meaningful depth and colour to the Knocked Loose canon, rather than just an algorithm-baiting name-check. In fact, it sounds less like a guest spot and more like a dogfight, with two of modern heavy music’s most ruthless vocalists sparring off, with audible snarling and gnashing of teeth, trying to out-manoeuvre each other around the tumbling melodies that take things deeper into the abyss.

The heaviness throughout is unrelenting. No acoustic number, no ballad, no concession. Even the 46 seconds of Moss Covers All feels more dangerous than what most bands can muster in 46 minutes. The battering, cutlery-in-a-washing-machine racket of Blinding Faith seeks to underline just how punishing the Kentucky noisemongers can be, while closer Sit & Mourn fixes its gaze on the next phase of Knocked Loose’s war machine, building and expanding into something more than clenched fists and bloody noses, as Bryan screams the album title into an echoing void in what is sure to become the mosh call of all mosh calls.

In a rejuvenated scene that still feels yet to peak, Knocked Loose are at the head of the pack. Throw all the hype and viral Coachella moments around you want, it’s the music that matters, and this isn’t just their best record yet, it’s one of the best albums of the year. And somehow, it feels like they’re only just getting started.

Verdict: 5/5

For fans of: Jesus Piece, Code Orange, Candy

You Won't Go Before You're Supposed To is released on May 10 via Pure Noise

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