Gig Seeker Pro


Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Alternative





We Are Knuckle Dragger... a band I never get tired of listening to... big riffs, huge grooves and an intense live show... clever songwriting without being pretentious... and with the great Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies) recording the band's debut album, "Tit For Tat", you know they're not a band that needs to hide behind an over-processed sound. Last year's follow up album, "The Drone", was produced by Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot, Deftones, Glassjaw) who helped bring an even bigger bone crunching intent to the recording and some sonic flourishes that really help pull you in to the sound. They've toured with Meshuggah, Animals As Leaders and Dillinger Escape Plan, played Reading & Leeds festival, and done sessions at the BBC. Why aren't they famous? I'm not sure that's something particularly high on their list of priorities, probably part of the reason their music remains, as it always has done, so convincing in it's delivery.

We Are Knuckle Dragger

The image above has been used by WAKD for cover / header photos across their social media pages, on their Wiki page, in magazine articles including a whole page feature in Big Cheese mag, and it's still a part of my printed portfolio despite being a couple of years old now. It took 22 specifically taken photographs worked on over 48 layers in Photoshop to create this image. When printed to it's intended dimensions (nearly three and a half metres wide) the bass drum measures 22" which is the actual size. Here's a close crop showing some of the detail on the bassdrum head...

Close crop of the bassdrum head showing some detail.

Seeing WAKD playing live comes highly recommended. The photos below, taken at The Old Blue Last earlier this year, show a little taste of the band's live energy. If you want a closer look they'll be at ArcTanGent this year, the UK festival dedicated to Math-rock, Post-rock and Noise-rock (in ArcTanGent's own words) - Greig Clifford

"Malice In Wonderland"

This months Big Cheese Magazine - We Are Knuckle Dragger / The Drone article - Big Cheese Magazine

"KKK - We Are Knuckle Dragger "The Drone""

This weeks Kerrang! Magazine 'The Drone' review: - KERRANG!

"9/10 - We Are Knuckle Dragger "The Drone""


"Cover Photo"

This months NARC. Magazine; feat. We Are Knuckle Dragger discussing THE DRONE - NARC Magazine

"8/10 - We Are Knuckle Dragger "The Drone""

This months Metal Hammer ... "The Drone" 8/10 review: - METAL HAMMER

"Stockton Calling Lineup"

Check out NARC. Magazine to see whats happening at this years Stockton Calling Festival - NARC

"Vinyl Corner : We Are Knuckle Dragger - The Drone (Album Review)"

Few things these days get me more excited than receiving new wax, so when the new record by WAKD dropped on the matt in all its 180 gram splendour, I was understandably excited to give it a spin.

Before I began on my journey with The Sludgelord, the first and only review I did previously, was coincidently a live review for We Are Knuckle Dragger (nobody saw it!!). Skip forward 18 months or so and with countless road miles under their belt, supporting Meshuggah, shows at Reading / Leeds festival, not to mention working at Electric Audio with Steve Albini, the Geordies are back with their latest record, The Drone.

I’m not gonna lie, I loved their previous record, Tit for Tat, but The Drone, Wow! Straight of the bat, this record does not fuck about. It is a rather unpleasant affair, indeed how these crazy bastards produced this incongruent nihilistic rager, beggar’s belief. A symbiotic trio programmed to dish out their own musical Ipecac tablet. The Drone is guaranteed to induce convulsions. It is a discordant noise rock Pandora’s box, awkward and unyielding in character. Shit, if this was a mathematics equation, Einstein would struggle to deal with it. Did I mention it’s on Clear Frosted Wax? Even better, right!

Songs like the brilliantly titled Class of 94’, Bunch of Fucking Mutants are some of the heaviest I have heard this year; angular, abrasive and likely to cause fatigue. Hell, Kinetosis aint got nothing on this. Like a 21st century Trout Mask Replica, WAKD produce music which is experimental, avande garde and a bloody masterpiece of noise laden ambition. Surreptitious in one sense, because in many ways it will not be met with widespread approval, due in no small part to the overspill of neurotic chaos that ensues throughout.

If you like your music unorthodox, challenging and nuttier that bunch of hoarding squirrels, this record is a must have. Influences can be found from Frank Zappa to Helmet to Jesus Lizard to Cows to Unsane, all wrapped up in a Ross Robinson (he produced it) approved bow. Within the confines of the abrasion is also a sense of swagger and humour. Class of 94 is the darkest of all nursery rhymes with amusing anecdotes of ‘Loose Lucy can’t stop fucking her friends and Cautious Rick shot himself in the foot .’ Here’s Your Shit Sandwich with arguably the best song title ever and the refrain of “So nice to meet you, now it’s time to defeat”. Simply genius writing! Indeed, if shit tastes this good and was worth something, you better watch who’s near your asshole.

The Drone is augmented by stunning musicianship throughout and the mix is particularly great too, with every audible detail crystal clear, married together with a distinct live feel. Arcane yes and music that may be appreciated by few, but investigate the evil secrets of The Drone and you will be rewarded in spades. The Drone is at variance with conformity, indeed it makes your ears want to have a punch up such is the intensity of the cacophonous jarring discord on offer. Music is supposed to challenge and excite, The Drone does that and more. WAKD are taking conformity by the neck and kicking its ass. Superb stuff and a breathtaking package all round. Rick Rubin for the next one, boys!! On this performance, hell Kurt Ballou might be knocking on your door!! - The Sludgelord


Holy shrieking Jesus. Even if you have come across Newcastle noise-terrorist trio We Are Knuckle Dragger previously, second album The Drone is a challenging listen. If you’re yet to experience them, brace yourself.

However difficult it may be to penetrate WAKD’s dense sound, they’ve managed to attract some friends with serious reputations. Their 2012 debut Tit For Tat was produced by the Steve Albini (Nirvana, Helmet, Neurosis), and this time around, that chair has been filled by Ross Robinson (Korn, Glassjaw and… er… Vanilla Ice).

That the band have managed to secure the services of two unabashed legends to capture their sound in the studio should be an early indicator that WAKD are not your common-or-garden hardcore band.

But make no mistake; unlocking the twisted charms of The Drone will require some effort. That first listen is somewhat akin to being given The Bumps in a room with too low a ceiling. You emerge battered, bewildered and strangely invigorated.

Although the three-piece employ minimal overdubs, the band still manage kick out a sound as dense as a concrete milkshake. This is helped in no small part by a bass tone filthier than anything this side of ken MODE. Other reference points for their sound would be Unsane, The Jesus Lizard, the sadly defunct Down I Go and, at times, John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio. Lumbering, Neolithic, discordant riffing, loose time signatures and a positively cavalier attitude to traditional verse/chorus song structures result in a run of ten short, sharp shocks of angular, jarring noise.

WAKD also indicate that they’re not all that po-faced with their humorous song titles. Best of the bunch is definitely “Flapjack The Ripper“, but additionally no band that calls a track “Bunch of Fucking Mutants“, “Moon On A Stick” or “This Better Be Life-Threatening Norman” can be accused of taking themselves too seriously. That last one has a faintly familiar ring to it – I think its a quote from somewhere, but I can’t put my finger on exactly where. Any suggestions?

Whilst initial listens to The Drone are most likely to set hair on end and teeth on edge, after a few repeats something odd happens. It starts to make sense. It is a gradual process, with elements like the demented swing of the second half of “Learning By Doing” providing the keys to decode the madness. With each repeat, more of the logic lurking under the shards of feedback and screaming reveals itself. And, in turn, each listen becomes more enjoyable.

Like a particularly tricky computer game, a goodly chunk of the pleasure that can be derived from The Drone comes from this minor sense of accomplishment. But once all the treasures have been unlocked, there might be some issues with replay value. The Drone isn’t background music; it demands your attention. It’s not clear at this stage whether it is an album that will be enjoyed in the long-term, or just during the process of discovery.

It is fair to say that We Are Knuckle Dragger are not for everyone, but if you do like a challenge, and singalong choruses are not a prerequisite, then you may find some pleasing surprises buried in The Drone. - The Monolith


The Drone is the second album by We Are Knuckle Dragger. They’re a very good band and this is a very good album, but will you like it? Maybe.

Knuckle Dragger aren’t a group for everybody, but that’s fine. They make the music they want to make, which shouldn’t really be such a fucking novelty, and that music is beautiful. Not beautiful like Chopin, but beautiful, glorious NOISE.

A huge shit-eating grin spreads over my face every time that first slab of grumbly rumbly bass starts molesting my speakers. Perhaps such mucky stuff shouldn’t make me so happy, but I can’t help it.

This shit’s all over the place and I love it.

The Drone was produced by Ross Robinson, the man who invented Slipknot, and he’s a great fit. As much of a crime Korn was he totally makes up for it with this. We cool, Ross, we cool.

I’m not going to talk about The Drone song by song because it’s not that kind of record. Everything is brilliant, that’s what you need to know.

It’s also heavy. Really heavy. Really fucking heavy. Jesus Christ, it’s heavy. - Off Your Shelf


It’s difficult to fault the ethos of this album. It’s so bone-crunchingly heavy and malevolent, the band sound like they’re burrowing into your consciousness the way At The Drive In used to. Kinda like the sound a pig would make, if it had been stuck with a very large needle, hog-tied and sliced with a razor between the nostrils, The Drone twists the whole Hardcore/Thrash/Noise Rock genre beyond all recognition; displaying enough weird talents to hint that they could take this absolutely anywhere. And while the pig analogy is adequate, WAKD’s attack is far more direct. It’s not pretty but it’s certainly unique and they should be applauded for steaming back after 12’s Tit for Tat, with the kinda riffs that made Dillinger Escape Plan rulers of the stripped-down Noise Rock roost. The album slams in with ‘This Better Be Life Threatening Norman’, the vocalist screaming – “Channelling frustration, guess I’ve made my bed. This was confessed, routine addiction in Sunday best”, before the disarming ‘Starting Strength’ and ‘Class of 94′ sandwich raw gashes of noise with sweet slices of sound. To expect the word to fall at their feet would be a tall order, but they do manage to convince you of their authenticity and could easily give their peers a run for their money in the ‘you’d better believe it’ stakes! Of course there’s no escaping the doom and grime blitz coursing throughout, proving WAKD aren’t afraid of anything; which is why they can get away with the wild rumbling death combo’s on ‘Sucker’ and ‘The Moon On A Stick’. For best results – cram 300 friends in your living room, slap this on, and thrash like a bastard! You wanna know where they’re from? Don’t be dense! Only Geordies could come up with something this disturbing. Right? (7) - Head Warmer

"CD: “Drone” By We Are Knuckle Dragger"

Usually I use the word “Onslaught”, and it is usually in relation to one of the senses – hearing! These guys take that one step further and then another step.

This album is one slab of anger and aggression from the start and you know they want to pummel you into submission. This is extreme in places, and rough-no doubt this is how they are maintaining their underground origins. But throughout this barrage (makes a change from onslaught) you can hear the skill that these guys have breaking through. All backed up with those they have shared a stage with. Not to mention the support they have received from various radio stations, and their appearances at festivals.

“Drone” was released earlier this month, and it is hard to imagine what this 3 piece can create. If you like your music hard-edged; aggressive, beyond heavy with a touch of avant grade then your speakers have been waiting for these guys to break them.

Following in the same vein as Slipknot, and in places almost reminded of Leechwoman (but it has been a while since I played their album), these guys have shown they have the potential to make it big – if they can just throw in a little something extra to make their sound truly their own. - Rock Regeneration

"We Are Knuckle Dragger – Interview with Pete Currie"

Geordie lads We Are Knuckle Dragger just released their second full-length album, ‘The Drone’, produced by Ross Robinson (best known for his work with the likes of KoRn, Slipknot and The Deftones among others). Having played launch shows in their home city and London this past weekend, the trio are currently in Ireland for a clutch of dates – including the PlanetMosh-sponsored Helloween Havok in Belfast this coming Friday (November 1).

We Are Knuckle DraggerI grabbed a chat with bassist Pete Currie to talk about the band, their background, working with some of the world’s top producers (their debut was handled by none other than Steve Albini) and the importance of staying in touch with their fans. As this will be the first time many of our readers will be hearing about the band, I started by asking him to tell us a little bit about the band’s background – who the three of them are and how they came to play together…

“Knuckle Dragger came into being back in 2008. I’d love to have an interesting story – like we found Aran trying to lick his own reflection in a rainy gutter one night – but I’d only be telling half truths! Myself and Aran (guitarist) hail from Ireland and go way back. Our paths crossed again in Newcastle upon Tyne: Aran had just finished with a project so was keen to get the ball rolling with something new. I signed up and, once we had something that was mildly presentable, we called on Shaun to complete the puzzle. After a few practices, we were good to go with our first EP, ‘Doors to Rooms’. We all come from different musical backgrounds but from here on in we knew we were going to get real mucky.”

What is the meaning of the band’s name?

“It’s a funny name isn’t it? I like it a lot. I think the imagery it conjures up really suits us. [It] makes me think of one of the gorilla door men from Roger Rabbit… just one big ugly bastard.”

For someone who has never heard you before, how would you summarize your sound?

“We’ll take you to the bottom of the pond and leave you there… best bring a snorkel.”

You’ve just finished recording your second album, produced by Ross Robinson: can you tell us a little bit about what to expect from it?

“Three idiots in a tiny room sweating our knackers off wondering what the hell we’re doing on the west coast of America and you’ve got to come up with some sort of worthwhile conclusion. This album is our attempt to answer. It’s still three mates relishing in the experience of creativity, but this one’s bigger, rawer, warts and all with intent.”

You worked with Steve Albini on your first album: was there a major difference in the working styles of the two producers?

“I knew that going to LA and recording with the guy who had done the likes of Korn and Slipknot was obviously going to be a different ordeal from when we recorded with Steve. First and foremost, we are a live band and Ross was there in the room with us every step of the way, engaging with us to get the best performance possible. Steve was a perfect choice for our first album and I’d love to work with him again, he’s there to capture you, WAM BAM, right there at that moment – no bells or frilly knickers: he’s got his job and you got yours.

“Ross harnessed us as a band and took us deeper into ourselves as a collective. That’s not to say we went spooning out in the ocean and fingering dolphins every night… but it created an energy between the three of us that really transcends into the recording.”

How important is the relationship between a band and the producer?

“There’s no point recording with someone who thinks you’re a wanker, is there? That’s bad for both parties concerned really.”

WAKD - The Drone ArtworkCan you give us an idea about some of the songs and what they are about?

“Man there’s all sorts in there, from flame throwing mutants, millennium falcons and all types of murky shit. You’ll have to wade through it yourself to find out.”

According to your Facebook page, you “hold an underground ethos, networking direct with fans and bands via shows and social networks”: how important is that interaction with the fans and to keep sight of the fact that it is the fans who make it possible for the band to do what you do?

“It’s simple: we’ve always operated that way. It works for us and allows us to have a clear picture of what’s going on. We love getting feedback from shows. We started out making music for ourselves for the pure enjoyment of it and the fact that so many people have gathered round us over the past few years is a total bonus and we are proper grateful for it.”

In terms of your fan interaction, do you personally answer Facebook comments, Tweets, etc., or does someone from the management side now do that for you?

“All the social networking and the like are done by the band, mainly Aran, and although I think at some points he’d love to have his own squadron of personal assistants I know he really loves the interaction with our followers. Maybe someday though he’ll live the dream…”

In terms of your “underground ethos”, you’re opening the bill at this year’s Helloween Havoc: is it important to you where you are on a bill or is it just important to get up there and play?

“Within reason. When we play out of town gigs we normally request to go on main support as this way we are probably going to hit out to a healthy sized audience without everyone clearing off to get the last bus. Our sets aren’t that long anyway and to be honest I quite like getting on with it early so I can relax and soak up the other bands over a few pints.”

It’s quite an eclectic bill, covering death metal, thrash and space rock: do you enjoy playing diverse events such as this, with audiences who are into different types of music?

“Space rock? Sign me up Scotty. Aye we’d far rather be on with a variety of acts playing to new faces and tastes. It keeps things interesting for us. Our music is not for everyone and we appreciate that but if you are open enough and willing to let us in you’ll not be disappointed.”

Obviously there’ll be live dates to support the album release: can you tell us anything about touring plans at this stage?

“For the meantime we have just had our launch in Newcastle upon Tyne, followed by a separate launch in London. Then a few dates lined up in Ireland this week, including The Menagerie in Belfast, The Voodoo Lounge in Dublin and then your shindig.

“We can’t wait to play Ireland again as it’s the first time since our first EP that we’ve managed to get back over. Asides from that we’ll have more in the pipeline come December/new year. Come say hello.”

As Pete mentioned, WAKD play The Menagerie in Belfast tomorrow (Wednesday), the Voodoo Lounge in Dublin on Thursday and Hellowe’en Havoc (with NASA Assassin, Altus, Scimitar and ForChristSake) on Friday (November 1st). - Planet Mosh

"We Are Knuckle Dragger - The Drone"

Oh my how have we grown. We Are Knuckle Dragger are one of a current crop of bands from Newcastle-upon-Tyne who are making lots of noise (in the case of WAKD, this is literally). After two very successful EP's, last year they released Tit For Tat (cleverly linked here) which I reviewed and as I stated at the time I found a little disappointing. I make no song and dance about it, but I was expecting quite a bit from that album; especially since it was recorded with Steve Albini. But that was the last record and now we are onto the new record. This album was recorded with Ross Robinson, who was responsible for a lot of the harsher end of the Nu-Metal revolution of years gone by (Korn, Slipknot, Amen, Soulfly, etc). Now whilst the Albini production should have been a natural fit, Ross Robinson is a strange one in someways - intriguing but not the first name I would have thought that they would have worked with. So how has the producer of Vanilla Ice get on with these guys and did he bring the best out of them.

From the beginning, this is a much richer record, the production has more depth and contrast and everything seems more focused whilst still having that random sound which is such a big element to their overall sound. Honestly when I heard the opening riff of "This Better Be Life Threatening Norman" the smile that came to my face could have matched Zippy from the UK children's TV show Rainbow. It is a fascinating mash of riff, destruction, noise and head-fuckery; aka We Are Knuckle Dragger all over then. Coming up afterwards is "Starting Strength" which has a pounding riff to start with then the brilliant sort of breakdown which is what I have seen them do live and captured here to great effect. Then we move onto "Class of 94", this is not a heart warming ballad about missing happy school memories. If this was a school, it would be Nuke 'Em High. With a hypnotic riff and drumming that drives the song to an equally mental chorus, I can say this is one of the best tracks on this album.

The charmingly titled "Bunch of Fucking Mutants" is next which makes for a much more spooky and eerie experience which is driven by the rumbling bass which would scare the weak in the audience to their spines, until they change direction again and have another break down moment. This one does not work as much for me, but it is still effective and keeping the interest up. Following on for this is "Sucker" which makes for interesting listening, having a similar effect on the musical senses as a mallet does on a ripe tomato or a glass window - there is going to be damage, but it will make a cool image. There is a fire in the belly of this song which makes it one of the highlights of the album. "The Moon On A Stick" (a phrase that has been passed around for years) is next and the off time signatures and messed up riffs just make this a beautiful piece of music. I'm sure I could watch them play this and I would not have a clue how they did it, it is strange and wondrous (and over far too soon). Then we have "Learning By Doing" which is the weakest track for me here, but it is much better for me than quite a lot of 'Tit For Tat'.

Entering into the final section of the album, we start with "Here Is Your Shit Sandwich" - obviously it is not going to be a radio hit, but that is the radio's loss to be honest. This slice of bonkers splintered punk is fluid and sublime; it is composed and only lets the aggression out when needed. Like the rest of this album, it is more measured in its attacks. As is proven with "Flapjack The Ripper" which brings around the crazies and let's in charge of the control desk chanting 'Monkey see, monkey do', it is the perfect set up for the final song of the album - "Funhouse". Now this is when the strange really kicks in and makes for a more interesting starting of which a drum attack and flipping into a slow menacing aggressive hook that sounds like old prize fighter taking no prisoners; then it brings in some strange noises which loop into a cluster fuck of noise that has this man smiling like a village idiot when the cider is handed out - priceless.

Well, I think it is safe to say that this is a massive improvement to their last album, From the stunning art work , to the brilliant production job by Ross Robson (and I never thought I would say that out of the 00's) and finally to the band themselves - this is the album I was hoping for the last time. This time it is an attack and experience that is stunning, it is in line with their shows and early demos which held so much promise. If this album is not a game changer for them, I will be extremely surprised. They are about to do a few shows around England and Ireland, if they come near you check them out. They are also playing the next instalment of GNAW in Newcastle in November with Waheela, Palehorse and others. But most of all get a copy of this album.

10 out of ten - this is proof that there is a God. - All This Time I Was Listening

"We Are Knuckle Dragger - The Drone"

We Are Knuckle Dragger return with their new album - The Drone.

Steve Albini is no longer at the production helm, instead the able
hands of Ross Robinson are there to twiddle knobs and to my
ears, it is for the better.

Gone is the trademark Albini brittleness - this is a more
solid sounding album, more denseness and power.

The band still play a fucked up variation of sludge and hardcore
which jars with choppy time signatures and chaotic riffing - and
guess what? It still sounds great.

Short, sharp shocks of power and aggression assault your ears
but there is a skill in the surgeon-like precision of the song
structures that makes sure that you do not get too overwhelmed.

There is an experimental vibe that never descends into prog-wank -
these riffs are startling and strange, full of murky unspoken threats
that make you realise that this band are not here to make friends
but want to make a noise at huge volumes because they can!

Top notch stuff! - Black Insect Laughter

"Knuckle Dragger – The Drone"

It’s often been said that metal as a genre is going through something of an identity crisis and in my opinion it suffers because it has become the domain of the middle class. This is certainly true of the south of England, where – in a warped twist of events – the metal genre has developed its own ‘hipster culture’, whereby the original ‘outsiders’ of this world collectively turn their nose up at anyone guilty of not abiding by their own ideas of what normality entails.

This won’t go down well with some of my metal-loving friends but I’m of the opinion that the genre needs to adopt a ‘punk’ ethic if it is to survive. If metal is to flourish once more, it must have something to say, and there is surely no better source of inspiration than the equalitarian values of the working class.

Well thank god for the former industrial towns of the north then, where metal still retains some of the original spirit that made it so exciting to listen to when our ancestors first decided to turn the dial all the way up to eleven. Here at least, the genre hasn’t lost touch with the ordinary working man, providing an impetus for great music.

Newcastle-based Knuckle Dragger are one such benefactor of their roots. Purveyors of bullshit-free flare-ups of noise, nothing gets lost in translation: what you see is what you get. Their new record ‘The Drone’, is essentially ten tracks of chugging fits and spurts – and it’s pretty fucking good.

Opener ‘This Better Be Life Threatening Norman’ sets the tone for the rest of the album, exploding into life from the onset and winding its way through the valley of despair. Based around a lead riff that could have easily wound its way onto a Meshuggah album, it’s clear that the trio have an ear for a tasty groove. Second track, ‘Starting Strength’, begins to reveal some of the inspiration behind the record’s title, as the song descends into an assault of droning squalor. It’s followed by ‘Class of 94’, which is the sore thumb of this album: musically formulaic and lyrically pedestrian. Not to worry, because ‘Bunch Of Fucking Mutants’ soon restores parity, as the band’s math-inspired approach and Aran Glover’s echo-drenched vocals combine to yield a finished product that is gutsy and raw.

‘Sucker’ creeps along nicely and precedes ‘The Moon On A Stick’ and ‘Learning By Doing’, tenacious two-minute numbers that should dust away the last of any jaunting cobwebs. For the most part, Glover’s lyrics on ‘The Drone’ are somewhat abstract, yet appear to serve a cathartic purpose, but on ‘Here’s Your Shit Sandwich’, they take an upfront pop at society’s foremost ills: government and capitalism. Middle fingers up.

As soon as the discordant, disjointed wail of ‘I’m slipping out of my miiind!’ kickstarts ‘Flapjack The Ripper’, you just know Knuckle Dragger have struck gold. If math-influenced metal with post-hardcore tendencies is such a thing, then this is its raison d’etre. As ‘Funhouse’ brings the album to an epic close, it’s hard not to sit back and admire the band for their willingness to throw the rulebook out the window.

Knuckle Dragger’s songs don’t adhere to traditional song structures and there isn’t a chorus in sight. Nor do the band belong to any particular ‘scene’. And yet, ‘The Drone’ epitomises what the metal genre should be about: heavy music done fucking well.

Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a genre classic by any stretch of the imagination. It won’t be the band’s ticket to the big league. But it will turn a few admiring heads, not least because Ross Robinson’s (Korn, At The Drive-In, Glassjaw) imprint is stamped all over this record. With him at the production helm, the band have managed to capture every spasm; every nuance; every drone.

Clearly then, ‘The Drone’ is a record written by three guys not inhibited by the pressure of appeasing metal’s hipster subculture, which makes it punk as fuck. This is the re-birth of metal’s true identity. - Tune Army

"There’s A New We Are Knuckle Dragger Album!?"

As testament to just how much great music pours out of every outlet these days, one of my favourite noise-rock bands released a brand new album a couple of weeks ago and I only just found out.

But in the interest of better late than never, the noisiest and grimiest act to have ever crawled out of Newcastle have returned with their second album The Drone. If you’re not familiar with the off-kilter world of We Are Knuckle Dragger then consider this — I originally stumbled upon this band when they were main support to juddering mechanical monsters Meshuggah and the always-amazing virtuoso showcase of Animals Of Leaders and yet WAKD sound nothing like either band. Sure, they are technical and there’s definitely competent musicianship, but here, on The Drone, it’s filtered through the filthy lens of loose time signatures that trail and stutter and guitars that are fuzzy and discordant.

Naturally, you can stream the entire thing through their Bandcamp page — it’s a tense and disconcerting listen with song titles exclaiming some bizarre things like ‘Here’s Your Shit Sandwich‘ and ‘Flapjack The Ripper‘, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. - Heavy Blog Is Heavy


I’ve been drowning myself in so many new release and undiscovered classics of late that I haven’t had time to sit down and do a good ol’ fashioned Bandcamp trawl. So finding myself with some free time last week I decided to go ahead and rectify the situation. The result? Knuckle Dragger.

Knuckle Dragger is a UK based hardcore/noise/math band, one of many in what has started to become a very populated genre. You know the basic formula, Distorted basslines munching along underneath a head rattling combination frantic guitar work, bowel-rupturing rhythms and a drummer fed exclusively on PCP and pop-tarts. It’s the bastard child of modern heavy music and one I can never get enough of.

“The Drone” caught my ear for a couple of reasons, most notable the heavy doses of experimentation and the brutal contrasts between genres that define their songs. These assets are further helped along by short track times, with the longest running well under the five minute mark. This gives the entire album a concise and to the point pacing, with the maximum calculated amount of aggression pumped out per minute.

As opposed to the constantly schizophrenic mentality of mathcore, all twitching limbs and frothing mouths, Knuckle Dragger keep a cohesive groove the whole time, albeit the kind of groove you wouldn’t want to leave small children alone with. Sharp, convulsing punctuations of noise staggering down a back alley just waiting for someone to look them in the eye.

The album is interlaced with brief periods of experimental breathing room, from Doppler effect feedback, a brief period of clean guitar picking, odd vocal samples and a constant flirtation of the noise/music line. Quickly crushed back into form by the ever-present brutality, these brief interludes make the return to violence that much sweeter. All of these is underlined by what seems like an asylum escapee on vocals, who provides everything from blood curdling screams to saliva-spraying growls.

“The Drone” is a perfect example of the bastardization of genres that has become a defining feature of today’s music. Unhinged and unrestrained insanity that challenges many to find out how far they can take the difference between music and noise. For those voyeuristic few, all your links and streams are below. - Church Of The Riff


The mathy, offbeat punks We Are Knuckle Dragger have gone and created a mini-documentary following the recording of latest album The Drone with Ross Robinson. And we're showing it off right now!

Filmed by Ollie Rillands out in LA, it's the story behind a small band doing things bit style.

The Drone is out now on Sapien Records - METAL HAMMER


THE DRONE (Album) [prod. Ross Robinson] - October 2013

TIT FOR TAT (Album) [prod. Steve Albini] - April 2012

ABCDEP (EP) - April 2011

DOORS TO ROOMS (EP) - September 2010



BBC RADIO 1: "Well worth checkin out!" - Dan P Carter

BBC RADIO 6: "Incredible Noise" - Tom Robinson

XFM: "Absolutely Amazing!" - John Kennedy

KERRANG!: "Extremely Impressive" K K K K

ROCK SOUND: "Oh My God" 10/10

FRONT: "Fu%*ing Hell!"

TERRORIZER: "Big Grooves"


WE ARE KNUCKLE DRAGGER released “THE DRONE” Produced by ROSS ROBINSON (Slipknot, Glassjaw, Deftones, At The Drive-in) Mastered by ALAN DOUCHES (Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon) in October 2013, proceeding the 2012 debut LP “Tit For Tat” recorded with STEVE ALBINI.

Performances at READING LEEDS FESTIVAL, ARCTANGENT FESTIVAL, tours with MESHUGGAH and DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, live sessions with BBC 6 Music and XFM, and a track featured on XBOX ROCKBAND3 have all developed the Newcastle UK trios loyal fan base.

The band emerged from the underground scene in 2010 with two EP’s receiving wide spread support from national and international press, radio and TV.

WE ARE KNUCKLE DRAGGER hold an underground ethos networking direct with fans and bands.