I saw Portland’s Throw open for Alone in Dead Bars (the solo version of Dead Bars). I’d heard a couple songs off their bandcamp and had a couple people say Real, Real Nice was a pretty damn good record. So, I went, I watched, I nodded along, and spent hard-earned cash on a cassette. And guess what? Yeah, Real, Real Nice was, well, basically what the title says.
Throw is a melodic punk band in the vein of Jeff Rosenstock, PUP, and a little Joyce Manor. They’re kind of hard to pin down, but if you had to apply a subgenre to them, you could probably be safe with indie punk. There’s a little emo in there too, but for the most part the songs are fast singalongs with a bit of a lo-fi aesthetic. So, put Pavement, Mom Jeans, and your favorite emotionally volatile punk singer and you might have something close to Throw. Opener “Corner Store” is filled with throat-shredding melodies and emo revival fretwork, the drums sound like firecrackers and it all coalesces into controlled demolition. Throw has energy to spare, with enough texture to their sound to hearken back to all of the bands who used punk as a springboard to greater creativity. The big choruses, driving rhythm, and instrumental sections of “The Floor” are a great example of Throw’s songcraft, continually building and releasing tension.
The songs are funny, and don’t last too long. That’s about the level of criticism you get included with a Big Mac, but it still stands. Writing songs is an art, but it takes an awareness of both what you want to do and how your audience will respond. Throw puts together quick songs with a lot of energy and some ear catching lines. My favorite track on Real, Real Nice is the finale, “Brunch Burrito,” which opens with the tattooable couplet: “I want you to cum on my face, I’ve had the worst fucking day.” Strong evidence for Throw knowing how to capture an audience’s attention.
Also, how refreshing to see a full fledged album that is just eight good songs. It surely could’ve been pushed a little further, but with this, and the aforementioned Dead Bars releasing shorter, succinct albums, I feel like this could be one of the best trends in DIY punk in years. Nothing wrong with keeping it short and sweet, and Real, Real Nice feels all the more cozy for it.
Throw is a cool band and if you like cool bands you haven’t heard of before, well, shit– you might like these guys. Twenty-something sad sack angst, riffs, twinkles, and big, meaty choruses, all delivered in an album that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. Real, Real Nice is the sort of album you hope comes out of your local scene– creative, honest, and catchy.