- Knocked Loose
- A Different Shade Of Blue
- Metallic Hardcore
- Kentucky, USA
- August 23, 2019
A Different Shade Of Blue is a really appropriate album for 2019. You can hear the exhaustion and frustration in every bit of the music, this isn’t aimless-angry that the metallic hardcore scene is often very guilty of. If blue is melancholy then this is something else, a late stage of melancholy brought on by living in a fucked world. This kind of blue is tragic and disgusting. It’s a bruise on the world and our very souls.
Musically there’s a lot of hype, like actual hype building in the songs that is effective. Its music designed to get a group of people moving. I can imagine this being the soundtrack for protesting and riots. When I hear this music I feel a violence activated within me and I think most people will find the same – note that violence here is more an objective thing that everyone possess to varying degrees. Music doesn’t turn people violent, violence (moshing) is just the only outlet and expression we have for our bodies these days. I may be projecting but that feels like the essence of this record, bodies screaming for real connection and purpose in a hall of mirrors and billboards charading as a society.
My favourite track is Guided By The Moon.
I wasn’t a fan of Laugh Tracks but A Different Shade Of Blue captured my attention immediately, I can hear a lot of influence from Code Orange who I’ve been following since they were Kids. They aren’t afraid to let the vocals fly solo and there’s plenty of controlled silence and sudden rhythms. It’s too sludge to be called metalcore and too metal to be called traditional hardcore. It achieves its own Heavy as fuck presence and that is the essence of metallic hardcore. There’s a sense of finesse to the overall structure and execution of the music.
I can’t identity any real flaws in this record but I’m certain the vocals (Bryan Garris) are the strongest part of the record, he just pulls it out of nowhere. It doesn’t matter if there’s music or an instrumental que or not, he will belt something out. There were a couple of moments that kind of amused me but likely only me because this genre has a way of accidentally recreating sounds from old KoRn records. Very fleeting moments but they’re uncanny to me. I had a similar thought listening to Errorzone by Vein last year.
A Different Shade Of Blue was a release I was expecting to be front-loaded but instead it gripped me consistently from beginning to end. When it does end you almost feel mad at it for not automatically repeating. There is an entire experience here but it’s so easy to listen to and digest that it takes no energy to enjoy. I haven’t been excited for this style in a while as it’s inevitably become derivative, this is easily the highlight of the year along with LP2 by Secret Band. Which as we all know was the slappening.
Overall it’s quite simply fantastic.