Free Throw

Piecing It Together

Written by: PP on 08/01/2022 14:40:31

"Piecing It Together" is the fourth album by Nashville, Tennesee-based emo band Free Throw, who specialize in twinkly guitars and passionately sung, occasionally scratchy vocals. Pigeonholing them into Midwestern emo wouldn't be wrong, but they do also display elements of pop punk in their sound from time to time. During the past few records, they've been making small waves in the scene for a while for their extensive use of the quiet/loud dynamic in the vocal department where vocalist Cory Castro's voice ranges from soothing cleans to explosive screams, which have likely been a key influence for a band like Hot Mulligan over the years.

On "Piecing It Together", their soundscape has matured into a somewhat polished one. It's still rough-around-the-edges, allowing passion to seep through the otherwise clean production, best exemplified on the two first tracks on the album, "Cloud Sick" and "Worry Seed". Here, cleans break into screams nicely, and mathy guitars sparkle in the background for a great, emotionally-charged expression overall. These are the rawest moments on the record where Free Throw are at their very best.

Somewhere along midway through, however, the record loses its edge. The songs simmer casually without ever reaching a boiling point, lacking in the eruptive emotional charge that brought previous albums over the top. It's a similar problem as Polar Bear Club experienced on "Death Chorus" and to an extent on "Clash Battle Guilt Pride": it sounds like themselves, but without the magic that made their early work so special. The effect is that the songs blend together and feel anonymous in comparison. "Second Wind", for example, sounds like it's trying to be a song by The Menzingers, which means it has a more mainstream alternative/pop-rock vibe that audibly reduces the passion compared to e.g. album closer "Dawn Of A New Day".

At the end of the day, "Piecing It Together" isn't a bad album. It's just not as consistently great as earlier Free Throw albums. It feels more like a career extension than an important piece of their back catalogue. Here's to hoping they'll rediscover their songwriting magic on future albums.

Download: Cloud Sick, Worry Seed, Down & Out, Dawn Of A New Day
For the fans of: Hot Mulligan, Tiny Moving Parts, Good Sleepy, Polar Bear Club
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.06.2021
Triple Crown Records

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