Before this review kicks off let me just say that The New Loud is a band that must be heard live to be fully appreciated. That’s obvious in their debut EP Can’t Stop Knowing. Each one of the six songs is filled with a frenetic energy that doesn’t come across fully in digital form as it would live on stage.
Their lead in single “Don’t Dance” encompasses the band’s style completely. How much can they cram into one song before it dissolves into an unlistenable mess. It is a fine line to walk but New Loud walks it with panache. “Don’t Dance” melds together string-breaking guitar solos, dramatic octave shifts and loud synth beats, and damn it to hell if it doesn’t sound like the perfect love child of punk and new wave. Other notable tracks include a cover of Radiohead’s “2+2=5” (which less of a tribute and more of a complete re-imagining), and Short Way (by far the most mellow track on the CD, though that’s not saying much).
The New Loud goes all out on every song, and while that does make for great live performances it doesn’t always translate into great listening at home. Best advice in listening to knowing is to see the band in concert first, then get the EP as a reminder of how much it rocked.