Picking up nicely where I left off with my last Holy Roar Records File, here’s another one from the seminal label. This one was also released in 2010 but it would be years later that I would discover it. At that point a sucker for everything gnarled, twisted and upfront, Throats’ self titled release would pick me up and smash me over the head for a good few months before I had to put it down. Not because I got bored of it. Not at all. I had to put it down because even at less than twenty minutes long, this record took all the joy out of all other music for me. Again, not in a negative way. Humour me and read on if you care about why I can only listen to this from time to time.

It’s pretty simple. These six tracks contain anger unleashed in a way that is as cathartic an experience to listen to as music gets. It rips through every gut wrenching moment in your life in the time it takes to boil an egg and eat it. That’s just not something that you can put yourself through every day, without fail. Too much of a good thing, etc. The worst fucking part is that in order to give this band and their finest hour it’s due, I’ve had to listen to it a whole bunch the last while. It might kill me but so be it. As long as I get to finish my…

The devastating opener “Wake” begins like any solid, dark hardcore release with a single glassy hi-hat and some thunderous doom chords. It rips for ten seconds then tails off again into a funeral procession dirge and a barrage of pained screaming; the kind that makes the hair on your hair stand up on end. It’s hell on wheels/all guns blazin’/balls out the bath from there on on out. The fiery roaring and jagged guitars do everything they can to ensure that the listener has no fucking chance. Whether it’s the pure Converge stabs in “Fuck Life” or the heated, blackened blasts in “Something Low From This Way Comes”, there is always something being attacked on this recording. It’s not civil and it’s not complete either.

You can hear missed drum hits and screeches when a chord hasn’t quite formed. This is unsettling for anyone who wants to hear every perfect note and placed stick. Fuck them. The wild mathy goodness on “Failgiver” is all the better for the jarring array of notes, syllables and cymbals. It’s a cacophonous mess at times and it makes me so fucking happy. The wiry, plucked notes at the end of “Failgiver” still send a shiver down my spine because I know exactly what it kicks into. Despite the familiarity of the violence on Throats, there’s still bags of nuance to be discovered upon the nth listen.

Yes, it may take a lot out of me listening to this record. Dealing with the emotional duress of enjoying something so carnal does indeed leave me a broken man. I’ll never stop coming back to it though. At a time when other bands were discovering their softer or more experimental sides, Throats and Holy Roar dropped a fucking bombshell and leveled the scene entirely. Just not enough people heard the blast. Coming back to play Temples Festival last year was the nicest thing this band could have done for me as I had missed them the first few times around. I got to witness the energy, hostility and madness in person. It only served to make this album even more pleasurable to listen to. Not one to miss if you’ve fucked up and let this one slide. Maybe my favourite release on Holy Roar and that, my friends, is saying something.

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  1. Stephen Payne

    Great article, that Throats album is brilliant. Please keep going with the features on Holy Roar, would be great to see a feature on Brutality Will Prevail’s ‘Root of All Evil’.

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