Throwdown’s Intolerance Is Repetitive, Reliable
For a couple of years after 2005’s Vendetta came out, Throwdown’s “Burn” was my gym song. There’s a great momentum to that song that lends itself to the treadmill, and the lyrics—you’ve only got one chance, it’s time to burn everyone who ever wronged you, etcetera—were perfect for pumping iron and thinking about the massive pecs I would someday have (I wonder what ever happened to those). Try as I might, I couldn’t really get into any other song by the band, primarily because they all sounded like variations on “Burn.” Throwdown, it seemed, were one of the bands who were impressive the first time you heard them, and then were all right, but didn’t terribly grow on you.
Now it’s 2014, and Throwdown still sound like Throwdown, and their songs all sound like “Burn.” On their seventh full-length album, the ultra-burly unwaveringly-earnest band stalk through eleven tracks that all resemble each other. This isn’t always a bad thing, as that initial blast of misanthropic assault that comes with opener “Fight Or Die” is kind of awesome; it immediately makes you want to hit the gym, or pound a tall boy, or do one of those other many things that is considered ultra-masculine and tough by modern society. After that, though, it’s all a little repetitive. There are stand-out moments, many of which come in the form of lead singer Dave Peters’ well-crafted lyrics; on “Suffer, Conquer,” the line “Just what we need, another victim of austerity’s hand” is far more literate and interesting than the usual dick-swinging banter of your average straightedge hardcore band. But even these well-crafted lines blend together at times, and are littered with some cliché hardcore lyrics.
The thing is, you have to respect Throwdown for an album like this. On the track “Avow,” Peters shrieks, “Twenty years and I still remain/My allegiance never fucking dies,” and the truth in that is on display with Intolerance. Seven albums in, this band is still sounding like themselves, the same way that Manowar or Cannibal Corpse do. There are shit-tons of tech-death and blackened thrash acts I love who repeat their formula over and over; maybe because this kind of stomping hardcore isn’t my thing, I’ll never want to crank eleven straight tracks of Throwdown, but I have to give them props for being able to churn it out. Am I ever going to listen to this record again? Probably not. Does it make me want to go do a hundred push-ups while playing “Burn”? Fuck yes.
Throwdown’s Intolerance comes out January 21 on eOne. You can stream the track “Avow” here and pre-order the album here.