When Summer’s Gone – Knockout Mechanism

By Andrew Bansal

Hailing from Pittsburgh PA, When Summer’s Gone is a hard rock quartet that started out in 2008, and building upon a compelling debut full-length album ‘December’ which came out in 2009, followed by two EP releases, the band put out their sophomore full-length effort ‘Knockout Mechanism’ in February of this year, presenting a 9-track, 36-minute slab of straight-up, no-bullshit hard rock.

The album starts off on a lively note with the opening song ‘After All’ which aptly sets the tone for what follows. The albums then goes on to present a variety of rock compositions that showcase different expressions and facets of the band’s collective musical persona, through darker, powerful tunes such as ‘All Out War’ and ‘Pale Thoughts’, uptempo offerings like ‘We All Fall Down’ and mellow, thought-provoking songs like ‘Threadbare’, ‘Like Ghosts’, ‘001’ and ‘Each Day’. Knockout Mechanism comes to a somber end with ‘Reborn’, which sounds decidedly distinct from the rest of the album. But for the most part, the music revolves around strong, catchy guitar riffs executed through pristine guitar tones, a crisp and solid rhythm section, and clean vocals reminiscent of Corey Taylor in Stone Sour and to some extent, Robb Flynn of Machine Head. Knockout Mechanism is a hard rock album that certainly delivers what it aims to.

A lot of bands with modern hard rock tendencies tend to overdo the ‘cleanness’ when it comes to the way they approach the production of their music, but with Knockout Mechanism, When Summer’s Gone hits the nail on the head in this aspect and manages to find the perfect balance between having a clean, modern sound but still retaining its hard rock edge. ‘After All’ and ‘Pale Thoughts’ stand out as the highlights of the album for me, but Knockout Mechanism is very listenable in its entirety. After Carousel’s amazing debut release last year, When Summer’s Gone looks poised to be worthy representatives of Pittsburgh rock scene this year with a sophomore effort as impressive as this one. Knockout Mechanism is an album highly recommended to all fans of modern hard rock.

Rating: 8.5/10

Release Date: February 28 2014

Track Listing:
01. After All
02. All Out War
03. Threadbare
04. Like Ghosts
05. 001
06. We All Fall Down
07. Each Day
08. Pale Thoughts
09. Reborn