Release date: June 24th 2016. Label: Small Stone Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
Turncoat – Tracklisting
1. Bait shop
2. Lazy Susan
3. Never Was A Farmer
6. You Kicked My Ass At Losing
8. Every Giant
9. Cops And Robbers
11. I Know A Ship
12. The Guard
Matt Whitehead - vocasl, guitars
Kevin White - drums
Jeremy Plaugher - bass guitar
Alrighty then. Never thought I was going to begin a review by telling on someone. But there's a first for everything, I guess. Well, it will be sort of telling on someone since no names are mentioned. However, when Throttlerod's new album 'Turncoat' was sent my way, I was told "these guys are a Southern Rock band and I don't like that. You wanna do the review?". Sure thing, I don't mind since I like Southern Rock for the most part. But imagine my surprise as I pressed play and this amazing wax hits me like a ton of bricks. And there's no Southern Rock in sight! So Mr. You-know-who, shame on you for fooling gullible me. Anyway, let's get back on track and focus on the important stuff, namely Throttlerod's latest opus 'Turncoat'.
What this trio build their music around, is a groovy and bluesy rhythm section with harmonies á la King's X against hard driving and earth shaking rock with a touch of punk thrown in to spice things up. Razor sharp riffs of a great calibre soars on top of this while the band moves effortlessly and fluently between tempo changes. Another standout feature is the use of the bass guitar more as a rhythm guitar, something which changes the music immensely.
A group of songs, seven in all, represents perfectly what Throttlerod are about. Pulsating rhythms navigates 'Bait Shop' while loads of groove and riffs cuts through the heaviness. Bluesy at first, 'Lazy Susan' is then explosive to hell and back. The chorus is a steamroller...brutal, you hear! I'm so glad someone has finally taken the heritage of King's X and nurtured it so well. 'Never Was A Farmer' is a perfect example where musically it could come from either 'Out Of The Silent Planet' or 'Gretchen Goes To Nebraska', while the vocals and lyrics are from 'Dogman'. Then add Throttlerod to the equation and voilà, you have this amazing song. The title track brings the 'Faith, Hope, Love' era to mind. Harmonies, melodies, riffs, and vocals are all such a great homage to King's X.
'Gainer' leads the charge into heavier territories and is kind of chaotic and punishing at the same time. Groovy elements are interspersed while building up momentum. 'Every Giant' is almost English 80's indie rock at first, only to rip me apart about a minute in. Then attitude and intensity meets...only for everything to start over from the beginning. Beautiful! Oh yeah, strong wonderful Therapy? vibes in 'The Guard' and I love it. Intense, intense, intense...can't get any better.
Although five albums into their career I had never heard of Throttlerod before but I am pleasantly surprised and wanting more. Highly original, which is very hard these days, especially the way they've taken their influences and blended the so well with their own stuff. Only bands a cut above the rest has that knack and Throttlerod has it in abundance. Check them out because talent like this trio must not go unnoticed!
Words by Håkan Nyman