Heavy Song of the Week is a feature in Heavy Consequence that breaks down the best metal and hard rock tracks you need to hear every Friday. This week, first place went to “Deep in the Willow” by Knocked Loose.
Hardcore has come a long way over the past few years. Since its origins as a relatively routine descriptor of the more extreme side of punk rock, hardcore can now be found in Taco Bell commercials as bands expand the boundaries of the vocal genre into the realms of pop and alternative rock. It got to the point where it’s reasonable to ask, “Is this even hardcore anymore?”
Knocked Loose is among the group of bands that brought mainstream attention to the hardcore scene by playing with a loose definition of the genre, incorporating metalcore and death metal. Perhaps that’s why frontman Brian Farris made a point to stress that the band’s new double single is a heater.
“‘Deep in the Willow’ and ‘All’s Quiet Now’ are reminders that we are heavy, intense and extreme,” he said.
There seems to be some venomous sarcasm behind Faris’ remarks, as if he’s addressing anyone who’s ever wondered if Knocked Loose is — without quoting — weighty, intense, and extreme. His comments are redundant given the harsh and uncompromising nature of both tracks. Either would be a fine SOTW pick, but we picked the A-side “Deep in the Willow” for its front-to-back attack over dissonant panic chords, thumping drums, and unbroken vocals.
Alice Cooper – “I’m Alice”
Finally, Alice Cooper recorded his own song. “I’m Alice” is a momentous celebration of Alice Cooper the band, the man, and the persona – as it should be. Appropriately, the shock rock legend was buoyed by the song’s Reliable touring line-up and newly announced studio album. road. Hearing skilled ax player Netta Strauss ripping all over Alice Cooper’s studio is particularly satisfying.
The Fired Man – “Siren’s Song”
After an excellent lead single, Mutoid Man is back with another solid single from their upcoming album mutants. “Siren Song” is a compact rocker that gives the band’s superlative lineup (Cave In Guitarist/vocalist Steven Brodsky, Converge drummer Ben Koller, and High on Fire bassist Jeff Matz) plenty of time to set off some robotic fireworks. It’s a ripping little tune and should satiate fans of every member’s full-time project as well as their target stoner-metal audience.
Starbenders – “We Ain’t Alright”
The Starbenders are an Atlanta-based band with a glam look, but their latest single “We Ain’t Alright” is far from outdated. The song’s catchy vocal hook and dreamy vibe are distinctly beguiling and modern, reminiscent of the likes of True Widow and Autolux – kinda heavy, kind of pop, and hard to pin down the genre.