Review Summary: Throwdown's latest offering, although not ground-breaking, is a solid, competent effort
One would not normally associate internationally successful pizza franchises with an underground hardcore-punk music scene. But it was during another bland shift slappin’ out the dough that a colleague of mine introduced me to "Throwdown". The mix tape he prescribed to me contained various run of the mill hardcore and punk stuff but one track instantly rose above the mediocrity on offer, that track I later discovered was "You Can't Kill Integrity". The track, from the 2003 album "Haymaker" was the first I had heard of the band and, i believe, the best song the band has produced.
It is because of the aforementioned track that "Throwdown" remain on my musical radar.
4 years later and vocally the band hasn't changed with Dave Peters providing a solid but predictable front to proceedings. However Throwdown's newest release "Venom & Tears" marks a noticeable shift in the bands sound from their earlier work. Moreover, it provides an improvement over the uninspiring 2005 album "Vendetta" which, other than the single "Burn" was a disappointment.
For those who are excited by genre classification "Venom & Tears" is more noticeably a post-thrash album than previous records. This switch of styles has enticed some comparisons to be made between Throwdown and Pantera. This similarity is not as pronounced as some critics have proclaimed and by all accounts is not even a bad thing anyway.
Musically the latest album provides many more stand out tracks than the satisfactory "Vendetta". The band are clearly trying new things and this can be seen most evidently (and successfully) in tracks such as "Holy Roller", "Americana", & "I,Suicide". "Propaghanda" originally a Sepultura tune from the album "Chaos AD" is an interesting cover but a welcome admission as the bonus track. As a further indication of the new direction the band has taken, there is even room on the album for an instrumental track. "Cancer" is satisfactory as a guitar piece but useful as an intermission and precursor to the decent "Hellbent"
Unfortunately there are some tracks that fall foul of this new direction. "Day of the Dog" is a strange inclusion on the album and the peculiar rhythm sections it contains destroys the early tempo set by "Holy Roller". The album suffers from a case of obesity in so much as that it loses shape and structure around the midsection. Tracks 8,9 & 10 are standard affair and forgettable.
Overall I would contend that this album is a better effort than Vendetta but I feel there is still more to come from this band
N.B. As a footnote can I just mention this is my first review...so go easy on me.