There are certainly different shades of heaviness on the record; with few songs content to do exactly what you expected at their start, A Different Shade Of Blue is a rare combination of immediate impact and gradual reveal. A not insignificant slew of metal influences infuse this particular take on hardcore, with thrashy sections and doom-fed grooves casually collapsing boundaries and tunes like Trapped In The Grasp Of A Memory stomping into death metal territory without alienating existing fans. Atmospherics aren’t ignored either, as shown by the creepy outros of …And Still I Wander South and In The Walls, the latter featuring a sample of what sounds like a news report about a man murdering his family (though, reassuringly, taken from the PlayStation game P.T., rather than real events).
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A willingness to step out of their comfort zone saw the band step into the rather less savage or intense environment of a summer U.S. tour as main support to A Day To Remember, taking their unmissable live show to a whole new audience. It was a ballsy move, but one which highlights that, of their contemporaries on hardcore’s heavier margins, Knocked Loose are perhaps the ones with the most crossover appeal. Crucially, though, every opportunity and ounce of success which they’ve enjoyed has been entirely down to their own dedication, skill and hard work; A Different Shade Of Blue is no dilution of the band’s fiery vision, but rather a highly effective concentration of its core values. As Bryan put it back in August, “We’ve got complete creative control and now we’re more hands-on than we’ve ever been. We’re gonna take more risks. We’re gonna keep touring. We’re gonna keep going in until people don’t give a shit anymore.”
Well, the idea of people not giving a shit about Knocked Loose has been reduced to rubble. Not only is A Different Shade Of Blue one of the year’s most confrontational lessons in violence, but the depth of songwriting and the absolute power of its delivery makes it mandatory listening for anyone with an interest in heavy music, hardcore or otherwise. Three years on from Laugh Tracks, this blistering record proves that good things really do come to those who wait.