There’s nothing worse than a let down after a big wait. The tension, anticipation and slight giddiness. Sweating palms at the prospect. Then it’s shit on and everything is dust. Laugh Tracks is not one of these let downs. The eagerly (sweatily) anticipated release from Kentucky natives Knocked Loose was always going to drop bombs. The youngsters involved haven’t let their charming young demeanor fool anyone. This bludgeoning half hour experience is too good to pass up. Appropriate levels of personal protective equipment are required from this point onward.
Hidden somewhere in the bottomless pit of riffs and ravenous declarations of Laugh Tracks is the album of the year. The all out bombardment bestowed by these smart young men is infectious and just so fucking heavy. It’s so ridiculously heavy that it’s status as a meme has existed, flourished and died already. Debut track “Dead Ringer” set a perfect precedent of what to expect from the rest of this particularly nasty head shot. Throughout, the trudging, low end beatdowns and snappy breaks into a sort of thrash blare for the duration. Each track has it’s merits and each are instant room fillers but it’s the uninteruppted flow of this record that is most striking. Knocked Loose simply burn through so much energy and hostility that something raw is always mere moments away. It would for sure be hard listening for someone not in the mood but from to start to finish this one just goes and goes.
The breakdowns, beatdowns, mosh calls… All of it. It’s been engineered to elicit a feeling. For some that feeling will be found in a pit verging on violence. Others are gonna feel it between pointless work conversations and not enough sleep. Others may just want to hear it for the most satisfying mosh call of all time. Of. All. Time. And sure, it’s low hanging fruit, but the barkdown on “Counting Worms” is too damn good. The delivery and subsequent jaw breaking drop ensure a satisfied grin with each and every listen. That’s why this record and band deserve the plaudits and deserve the exposure. It’s fucking pissed off music. That’s unequivocal. They’re not breaking the boundaries of space and time with this – playing pissed off music has never and will never go out of fashion – but it’s done in such a sharp and incisive way. Such a way that no doubts are to be raised over this record’s legitimacy as a serious contender for some.
The bark (ew) and bite that Knocked Loose possess is shown off tremendously on this big old banger. Their youth and energy is exciting. The delivery of some of the biggest mosh riffs this damn century (fact) shows a fine tuned ear for violence. What’s not to love? It runs like industrial and hardcore, powered by metal’s love of hip-hop and vice versa. Laugh Tracks has appeal to all areas of the heavy music spectrum and is going to get picked on by some but nobody ever wins this particular game. One of the best debut full lengths this year for sure. Laughing all the way to the bank. The blood bank.
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Knocked Loose‘s Laugh Tracks is available now on Pure Noise Records. The album can be purchased digitally through the Bandcamp player above or in a variety of physical formats and bundles at this location.