Throats – self-titled
Collected via the Throatsofgold club, I have this record in grey vinyl (only 50 copies in the UK) as well as a limited CD edition (200 available) and the regular and promo CD releases. Yes, I’m boasting about this. I don’t normally go in for limited edition stuff and I am definitely not the sort of guy who is nerdy enough about records to collect vinyl in different colours. Still, I am rad stoked to have this release in a variety of formats, because it’s a sufficiently exciting release to feel like a landmark record.
Throats have been tearing shit up for several years now, and in recent years their split EPs with Maths and The_Network have garnered them praise from those in the know, as have their incendiary live performances. But with this self-titled EP (I really can’t call it an album; it’s 6 tracks and 17 minutes long) they’ve established themselves as a major force in UK hardcore.
For me the standout track is ‘Fuck Life’, which begins with thick, chunky hardcore punk riffs and speedy fret-walking, before seguing into even faster-paced black metal-esque guitar work and – towards the end – a blistering solo. This song is quickly followed by ‘Something Low This Way Comes’, deploying riffs that sound not unlike a more pissed-off Converge with some severely angry gang chants.
Four of the first five tracks leave you wanting more; they’re over so quickly, and use their best riffs and parts so sparingly, that the desire to replay the song is only trumped by the next hammerblow of crushing violence to impact your ears. The band are clearly well aware that less is more.
The final track, ‘Oaken/Wait’ stands out in contrast to the songs that preceded it. It’s a two-parter: ‘Oaken’ begins with a heavily distorted bass lick before kicking into the same speedy territory as its predecessors, and if anything it’s even faster – the kick drums ratcheting up the tempo, the guitars seemingly barely under control. It steadily downs pace into a neck-thrashing middle, which is where I reckon ‘Wait’ kicks in, more or less, before closing with a sparing, minimalist outro. Together with the drawn out and restrained opener ‘Wake’ it bookends the EP nicely and demonstrates that Throats aren’t only about playing at a breakneck pace… although that’s what they’re ultimately here to do.
I feel like I don’t really have the terminology to talk about metal, as my metal listening is pretty patchy so I lack reference points, and Throats are definitely coming from the metal side of things. But hopefully the above gives you some idea of just how fast, loud, angry and essential this record is to anyone who walks on the heavy side.