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LIVE: Knocked Loose – SWX, Bristol, 07/03/2024

From hardcore heavyweights to a household name, recent years have seen Knocked Loose grow evermore prolific in stature. Playing quite literally everywhere they can, including a cult-status inducing set at Coachella Festival last year, their years of plugging away and putting on incredible live performances has started to pay off tenfold with the UK leg of their latest tour selling out quicker than most would have liked.

On the precipice of releasing a new album, Saturday night saw over a thousand fans pile themselves into Bristol’s renowned SWX venue, which became somewhat difficult to navigate as the time drew closer to the band’s arrival on stage. The central pit of a Knocked Loose show is certainly not for the faint of heart, or in my case, for those who wished to soak up the atmosphere of the show without having to find themselves pressed between sweaty bodies for an hour and a half.

Backlit by a digital screen display, the band arrived on stage and broke out into their recent hit ‘Deep In The Willow’, a song that has earned the band viral status for it’s breakdown call out of “Knocked Loose Motherfucker”. In terms of set opening songs, very few bands out there have the luxury of choosing a songs of that calibre and with the end of the song rolled immediately into the band’s iconic ‘Where Light Divides The Holler’, even the uninitiated attendee would quickly come to understand exactly why this band has become so beloved across the alternative mainstream.

Something that the uninitiated might be somewhat taken aback by is vocalist Bryan Garris’ vocals. Instrumental to the band’s signature sound, Garris’ vocals climb high into his range, producing a whining like scream that is very much sonically marmite to the listener. It’s deployed to great effectiveness though, and with bassist Isaac Hale providing some more of the low and aggressive vocals in support, the duo illustrate a masterclass in a heavy vocal assault.

As the band ripped through their ferocious setlist, including the likes of ‘Belleville’, ‘All My Friends’, and ‘Billy No Mates’ (which included an appearance from Loïc, the vocalist of Parisian hardcore outfit Headbussa), the crowd were also treated to the inclusion of all-new track ‘Blinding Faith’, an earth-fracturing new release from the band’s upcoming album that provided that perfect mid-set rousing.

The evening’s climax began with the penultimate track, the band’s viral hit ‘Counting Worms’, which has become something of a viral soundbite, especially for it’s distinctive breakdown. But the real conclusion of the night began with both Garris and Hale calling for the audience to dance and mosh one last time as they broke out into the shattering ‘Everything Is Quiet Now’, a track that saw the crowd give it their all for just another 3 minutes and 34 seconds, ensuring that they had devoted every ounce of sweat and energy to the dancefloor.

As many of the night’s sweat-drenched attendees spilled out onto the chilly streets of Bristol, which was most certainly a welcome feeling after the nature of the show and the temperature of the venue, it’s clear that Knocked Loose’s status towards the top of the pile in heavy music is built on the most solid of foundations. They are a band dedicated to delivering accessible mosh-music to the masses that is imperative in getting people into their local scenes, and the story often goes that Garris and Co unlock the doorway for people seeking out similar in their immediate vicinities, which can only be a good thing, despite what the gatekeepers will say.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.