Throwdown began in 1997 in Orange County, California. Throwdown's early shows were regarded more as a joke than anything serious. Their lead singer Keith Barney (Heavy K) often came out on stage wearing a boxing robe and boxing gloves. They were very heavy at the start of the career and everyone liked that, but they were never really serious with their lyrics or their hopes for the band, as many of their band members were shared among other Orange County act such as Eighteen Visions, Death By Stereo, Adamantium and even Bleeding Through. Throwdown quickly began making a name for themselves in the underground hardcore scene and eventually were signed to Indecision Records. They realeased their first full length record in 1998 and titled it "Beyond Repair." Finally, in the winter of 2001 they released "You Don't Have To Be Blood To Be Family."
Throwdown (during the recording of this album was)
Keith Barney - Vocals
Dave Peters - Guitar
Dom Macaluso - Bass
Tommy Love - Guitar
Marc Jackson - Drums
Throwdown (is now)
Dave Peters - Vocals
Dom Macaluso - Bass
Matt Mentley - Guitars
Ben Dussault - Drums
You Don't Have To Be Blood To Be Family is Throwdown's second studio album under Indecision Records. The record was released in late January of 2001. By most this album is regarded as Throwdown's best album. Throwdown's second release is chock-full of breakdowns heavy enough to satisfy even their toughest critics. The songs have structure and are not just focused soley around a breakdown. Keith Barney's lyrics are sincere and explicit at times.
Track By Track
1.) Unite - This song is very catchy. The guitar fades in and Barney begins saying "Unite", when finally the guitar drums and heavy bass kick and this 1 minute moshfest is underway, "UNITE, UNITE, UNITE!"
4/5 because of a sick breakdown and the songs energy alone.
2.) Trust - Great intro by Peters and Love here on the guitars. This song got me into Throwdown. The bass and drums are tight on this song and it also has a killer breakdown.
5/5 on this track because of its killer riffs and insane breakdown.
3.) Family - This is the best song on the album. The lyrics are so simple yet so effective because they are from the heart. This song has a good intro and Keith's vocals are great. This song also has a good breakdown and good group lyrical parts, especially the end. This is a very positive song and I believe it's the best on the album.
5/5: The lyrics are great. The lyrics tell a story of how hardcore music and the hardccore family has helped the band achieve its highest moments. This version is way better than the demo version.
4.) Accept The Change - This is a very straight edge song and it talks about how you can't stop the hardcore and straight edge movement. Keith's lyrics are good and the chorus is good. "So keep your head in the game, don't wanna be another one year name, this one goes out to the kids, the kids that still remain!"
4/5: Good song but not the best.
5.) The Perfect Story - This is a song about the media and how it tries to play with you mind. In 1999, Throwdown was asked to be a part of a documentary on straight edge and hardcore by a local news station. The news station did the segment and mispresented everything. This event probably pissed everyone off in the band, and this is why i believe the lyrics are so "in your face". Also it is a major reason why the song is really fast and agressive. Preceeding the intense and chaotic breakdown at the end of the song Keith screams "You don't know me, you don't know ***, if you twist my words, I'll twist your ***ing neck! Ya I'd like to twist your ***ing neck. We don't need you mother***ers, we don't need you!"
5/5: The lyics by Keith are again very good, and the intesity and musicianship is simple yet very effective.
6.) Together Rising - Good song. Talks about how we must learn from the past and "rise above". Peters, Love and Macaluso write a good breakdown to end the song.
3.5/5: I really liked this song at first, but its not as good as some of the other songs on the album.
7.) Program - Short song about making your own decisions. Fast song with great work on the drums by Jackson
3/5: Ok song but I find my self skipping it sometimes.
8.) Lost In Time - This song is about love and relationships. love ballad Keith talks about his relaionship with his girlfriend. Peters and Barney begin the song. A slower beat guitar part ensues, and Keith sort of speaks through the first verse of the song, and about 40 seconds into the song it picks up and Tommy's guitar and the combination of Macaluso's bass and Marc Jackson's drums kick in. Different guitar work here by Throwdown. Some pinch harmonics are found in this song. They aren't overly technical, but they add a dynamic not found in earlier songs of this album.
3.5/5: This song is different than some of the other songs because of the guitar work. Good song.
9.) No More Hate: The song begins with Dom's bass playing an intro, and then the rest of the band enters the song. Macaluso shines in this song with his bass. The lyrics are encouraging people not to judge others. It is a song about getting to know others. I believe James Hart provides some screaming vocals toward the end of the song. Near the end Keith begins saying "Everybody's got their own thing, you've got your *** and I've got mine. It doesn't matter where you come from so show some ***in' respect, OPEN YOUR MIND!" Another mindblowing breakdown occurs and the song ends in a blaze.
4.5/5: Great song with a great message, and a ferocious and cathartic breakdown. Great lyics in this song
10.) Too Little, Too Late - Very guitar and bass driven song. Some pich harmonics are found in the verses of this song. Good breakdown. This song is also found on their demo.
3.5/5: Decent song , Ok lyrics, cool musicianship and cool intro.
11.) The Edge Is Strong - Just in case you couldn't tell from the title, this is a very pro-edge song. Great intro by all four musicians. The verse continues the intensity and the fierce lyrics are good. It is a song about staying true yourself and your convictions. This song has a great breakdown to end this intense and visceral album by Throwdown.
4.5/5: I personally like this song. Very good breakdown that fades out to end the album.
Pros: - tight musicianship.
- the riffs are simple but very good.
- the lyrics are "in your face" and intense
- the breakdowns are absolutely ridiculous
- better than newer Throwdown
- Keith Barney's voice is better than Peters' in my opinion
Cons: - the vocals and heaviness of the CD may not be poopular to the casual listener
- the album lacks some diversity
- not too many innovations or technicalities are found in this record.
- some may not appreciate the straight edge lyrics
This is a very good album from Throwdown. It is my personal favorite by them. There are good breakdowns in every song. Keith's vocals take a little while to get used to if you are a casual listener. The lyics are very positive. This is one of the cathiest hardcore albums I've ever heard. After you read the lyrics you will be singing/screaming along with the CD. Buy this cd if you are into hardcore or are looking to get your feet wet in the genre. This is a very good album, and in my opinion much better than newer Throwdown.
Also Check Out
Eighteen Visions - Until The Ink Runs Out
Terror - Lowest of The Low
Hatebreed - Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire
Bleeding Through - Portrait Of A Goddess
Unearth - Stings Of Conscience
Throwdown - Beyond Repair
Throwdown - Haymaker
Throwdown - Vendetta
Throwdown - Drive Me Dead EP
This is my first review so please don't be too critical