‘Utter chaos’: Knocked Loose delivered a visceral assault with riotous chanted singalongs at the Colonial Hotel 

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‘Utter chaos’: Knocked Loose delivered a visceral assault with riotous chanted singalongs at the Colonial Hotel 

Words by Alex Callan

The wild Knotfest sideshow went down on Thursday 23 March at Colonial Hotel, Melbourne.

Mannnn, Melbourne’s hardcore community has had it good recently. And when I say good, I mean really good. First, there was Comeback Kid & Drain’s mammoth summer tour; then Turnstile and Speed absolutely annihilated The Forum, and now Knocked Loose have come along and delivered a set chaotic enough that it deserved to be filmed by hate5six, it’s been beyond a dream for hardcore lovers citywide, but this set was a bit different.

As proudly stated by the group’s lead singer Bryan Garris, “This is something you don’t get at Knotfest; no barricade.”

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He’s right. A US-based, large-scale act playing in an intimate no-barrier club setting? This was the kind of show that Melbourne-based hardcore fans had been pining over for years now. Naturally, it wasn’t an opportunity they were going to waste.

And they didn’t. The second Oldham County hardcore outfit hit the stage, the crowd went into turbulent overdrive. Front-flipping stage divers; riotous chanted singalongs and some of the finest two-steppin’ our city has ever seen… it was utter chaos.

But as Garris affirmed, Knocked Loose “love chaos”… and so, they incited it as much as possible.

Opening with the jagged, beatdown heavy ‘Where Light Divides The Holler,’ before tearing straight into ‘Trapped in the Grasp of a Memory,’ Knocked Loose hit the stage with an unmistakable ferocity, barely letting the crowd breathe in between songs as they powered through their blistering 45-minute set.

The heavy, machine gun-esque intro of ‘God Knows’ kicked in with cataclysmic effect, as did the piercing, high-pitched guitars of ‘Billy No Mates’ and the sludgey bounce of Belleville’s bassline.  Maintaining the energy was ‘Deadringer’, which gained an immense crowd reaction with punters happily complying with Garris’ request to see “everyone in here stage dive tonight.”

With the crowd still buzzing from Deadringer’s closing breakdown, Oblivions Peak’s opening riff almost sent them absolutely manic, with the pit opening up even larger as punters found a second wind for the older favourite.

But as I said, Knocked Loose “love chaos,” so before the crowd could even stop and think, ‘that was sick, I can’t believe they’re playing older tracks,’ Garris quickly introduced, “This is the oldest song we’ll play tonight.” Instinctively the crowd clued into the opening drumbeat of 2014’s All My Friends and went absolutely haywire. By the time Malevolence’s Alex Taylor hopped up for a guest vocal spot, it was hard to tell who was the band and who was the crowd, with seemingly half the venue finding their way on stage for the final singalong.

Closing with ‘Mistakes Like Fractures’; ‘Permanent’ and crowd favourite ‘Counting Worms’, which gave way to an extraordinarily loud upheaval of crowd members singing along with Garris’ signature high-pitched snarl, Knocked Loose left the crowd in absolute tatters. People were missing shoes; shirts were ripped; hats were scattered all over the venue, but punters couldn’t wipe the smile off their faces.

Even when the house lights abruptly came on, making it abundantly clear that there would be no form of an encore, people didn’t mind. After the 45 minute visceral assault that was Knocked Loose’s set, they couldn’t have handled one anyway.