Review: Knock Over City – Dungeon Module 420

The nice thing about Lowell band Knock Over City is that their music has something for everyone…provided that something is filtered through a lens of hard, plodding rock, recklessly oozing decibels. The self-proclaimed “trash rock” group’s sound has run the gamut from glacial sludge metal to raucous fuzz-punk to ear-drum lacerating noise rock, just as quickly jumping from songs about depression and alcoholism to time-travelling bears on a whim. Now in 2020 a new thematic domain can be added to Knock Over City’s milieu of pounding drums, distortion-heavy guitars, and roaring vocals; swords and sorcery. Enter Knock Over City’s latest EP; January’s colorfully named Dungeon Module 420, a veritable boot to the head of chaotic stoner-punk, which packs an outstanding amount of energy and volume into a mere two songs.

One who was unfamiliar with Knock Over City might have some trepidations towards releasing something so gimmicky as a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired single, (The cover art is even modeled after the classic layout of a 1980s-era expansion campaign for the iconic tabletop game.) but those of us who have been following the former-trio (This marks the band’s final recordings with longtime bassist Rick Surette before his exit.) from the start will know this is just business as usual. (Songs about time-travelling bears, need we remind you.) Amidst references to beheading sorcerors, riding to the lairs of beholders, and executing criminals, none of Knock Over City’s signature blasting sound has been lost, delivered in a heavily overdriven package that’s surprisingly crisp and polished. If anything the tracks on Dungeon Module 420 fit them to a tee, and would fit perfectly in any setlist unrelated to wizards.

Dungeon Module 420 is a single EP that bursts at the seams with messy ferocity and vigor, leaving the listener craving more than the nearly seven minutes spent listening to it. If this doesn’t lead to an entire concept record of stoned medieval madness from Knock Over City, it should be considered an enormous loss for society at large.

For Fans Of: Mastodon, Baroness, Sleep, Masters Of Reality, Crowfeeder
Key Track: “Empty Lair”

– Lilz Martin