If like us you are a sucker for dirt encrusted, alcohol fuelled rock ‘n’ roll then Blood, Sweat & Beers from US rockers Throw The Goat is a must. It is a brawl in the ears and party in the heart, rock music at its most instinctively aggressive and virulent. Whether the second album from the Californian trio offers anything more is debatable; certainly it is not trying to explore or expose anything particularly new but equally there is a freshness and tenacity to its sonic fight and incitement which ensures this is no run of the mill proposition. The truth is it does not matter if Throw The Goat is crafting riots from existing vats of ideation, with a sound which plays like the bastard son of a merger of bands like The Clash, Agnostic Front, and Motorhead to just pluck three from the past decades of rock ‘n’ roll, they and their new album is one irresistible rampage.
Blood, Sweat & Beers is the follow-up to the band’s acclaimed debut album Black Mountain of 2012. Recorded with, as its predecessor, Finch drummer Alex Pappas who also mixed and mastered it, the new encounter is a continuation of the power and addictiveness found in its predecessor but with an openly new breath and energy to its stomp. Released on the band’s own label Regurgitation Records in the US in March, it has been kicking up a storm of praise and attention, with the UK now in its sights this month.
Opener Buffalo takes a handful of seconds to make a gentle coaxing of ears before unleashing a tirade of rowdy riffs and antagonistic rhythms. Those beats are met head on in energy and aggression by the vocals of bassist Michael Schnalzer, and in no time aligned to a blaze of great varied vocals from across the band and sonic enterprise courtesy of Brian Parnell’s guitar. It is an instinctively anthemic punk ‘n’ roll provocation setting the party off to a mighty start, though the song is swiftly surpassed by the album’s outstanding title track. Blood, Sweat & Beers flies from the traps with a feisty roll of stick prowess from drummer Scott Snyder. Within the time it takes the listener to get to their feet he is driving forcibly on with fiercely swung beats with the track now a raging tempest of rabid riffs, squirming grooves, and vocal addictiveness. Again the whole band offers plenty to make an aggressive provocation a ridiculously magnetic one, in voice and sound, an offering rife with unbridled energy and ripe with virulent contagion. Quite simply the track is a roar of rock ‘n’ roll which will rarely be rivalled this year.
The band brews up its dirtiest punk side for Drown next, a simple raw rage of riffs and rhythms bound in spicy melodic hooks and vocal antagonism which goes down like a beer in the hands of a thirsty man. Its unsurprising but richly satisfying incitement is followed by the slower predatory flirtation of Swamp. Its air is thick with toxic attitude and body a brooding mesh of rhythmic intimidation and wiry sonic colour, and yet another appealing twist in the variety by the album. Building up intensity and energy within its tempestuous dark climate, the song proceeds to shift from sludgy scenery to raucous explosiveness, entwining both within its imposing walls.
The filth clad bassline opening up All We Have is an instant addictive lure, bait increasingly infectious as a feverish rumble of beats from Snyder adds fresh dramatic with their temptation. The best opening to any song on the album, a riotous anthemic seduction all on its own, it leads to another ridiculously gripping and intrusive persuasion of punk and heavy rock. Parnell spins a melodic web as the song continues to twist and shift into new inventive and bewitching scenery, whilst noise rock and hardcore elements are flirted with for another major highlight of the album.
Idyllwild Eyes crowds in on the acclaim given with its own bellow of bristling vocals, spiteful beats, and abrasing riffs. It also brings a highly flavoursome melodic lure from Parnell, a regular occurrence on all songs, alongside the unpredictable tendency in their invention which the band showed on the last song. These are times where you almost feel that the band missed a trick on the album by not using this increasingly successful adventure more in their songwriting, though it offers a potential which will hopefully be realised by the band and to be excited by ahead.
Ears and passions are lit again by Uprooted, a riveting prowl of a punk rock song, and straight after through the eighty eight second bawl of aggression and attitude that is 8 More Minutes. Soaked in a hardcore heart, the track simply rages around deeply grabbing hooks and addictive rhythms for a brief and seriously potent anthem. The album from its broader rock opening, delves into heavier and more hostile punk belligerence towards its latter stages, this song a prime example backed by the similarly bred Waste straight after. Despite the increasing animosity permeating the songs in sound and vocals though, hooks and grooves lose none of their enticement and potency within the tracks whilst the swinging sticks of Snyder are a constant source of pure incitement.
Road Home brings the album to a close, the song a rowdy and lusty slab of devilry which maybe is more straight forward and unsurprising compared to other songs before it, but still provides an exciting end to one of the most enjoyable encounters to stir up the year so far. Throw The Goat is rock ‘n’ roll through and through with a sound and indeed album to match. This is one bruising all rock fans need.
Blood, Sweat & Beers is available now via Regurgitation Records @ https://throwthegoat.bandcamp.com/album/blood-sweat-beers
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